Community Forum Examines Water Quality and Protections

BARNSTABLE – Barnstable County residents have been invited by the nonprofit environmental action group Sustainable Practices to join a multi-week educational forum on water quality within the county. 

Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan said that the four-part series will touch on the history of municipal water source protections, what defines a single source aquifer, emerging technologies meant to maintain water safety at home and other topics.

“Whatever we put on the ground, whether it comes through our septic system or just pouring items on the ground after we’ve had a beverage, to spraying our grass and our plants, all of that will eventually affect our groundwater,” said Venkatesan. 

“This type of forum assists people in seeing our daily activity on a cumulative basis across all of our daily activities that actually has a tremendous impact. Developing just that understanding hopefully will cause people to have some behavioral changes with regard to how they interact with their environment,” she said.

Venkatesan said that those at home should be mindful of how they use pesticides and other chemicals on their property in order to avoid hurting the environment, which affects every member of the community either in health or financially.

She also stressed the importance of residents checking the potability of water in their own homes as related to pipes, as well as being involved in the local water protection efforts in their community at large.

Sustainable Practices advocates for commercial single use water bottle ban effort which will be filed in four towns this spring on the Dennis, Yarmouth, Chatham and Sandwich town warrant.

It already passed in Provincetown, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans, Harwich, Falmouth, and Brewster and will begin September 1. 

The municipal ban, prohibiting the sale of single use plastic beverages on town property and purchase by town governments only, is already in effect in 13 municipalities across the Cape and Islands region. 

“In terms of transactional purchase of water at a grocery store or other store, all we’re doing is depleting someone else’s water source instead of taking care of our own,” said Venkatesan. 

“When you buy water, you’re buying it from somebody else’s municipal area.”

The Community Water Forum will feature different speakers every week, beginning with Association to Preserve Cape Cod Executive Director Andrew Gottlieb.

The event will begin Thursday, April 8 at 6:30 pm. Registration can be done here

The full Sunday Journal interview with Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan can be found here

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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