MADISON — This Friday, let’s make a toast to our most precious natural resource: Water!

March 22 is World Water Day, a day dedicated to sustainably managing the world’s drinking water. A vital natural resource, it’s critically important that even in a water-rich state like Wisconsin, residents do all they can to protect their waterways and drinking water.

“While our families have clean drinking water, it’s not something we should take for granted,” said Ezra Meyer, water resources specialist at Clean Wisconsin. “World Water Day is a great time to take a few easy actions that help ensure our water remains clean and healthy for generations to come.”

Here are 5 tips to make that happen:

  1. Pet Patrol: Cleaning up after your pet won’t just keep the bottoms of your shoes clean, it helps keep our waterways clean too. Pet waste contains phosphorus and when excess phosphorus gets into our lakes, rivers, and streams it can cause stinky, dangerous algae blooms.
  1. Green Rule of Thumb: Don’t run off to the garden store just yet. Lawn and garden fertilizers can be harmful to our waters, so be sure your garden needs it before applying fertilizer this spring. If your lawn or garden does need a pick-me-up, use fertilizer sparingly and as recommended.
  1. Free Water: April showers bring May flowers, but that rain water can work overtime so you don’t have to. Direct your downspout toward your garden for effortless watering or collect rainwater in a rain barrel for later use.
  1. Four-Wheel Inspection: Most vehicles can’t tell you when they have sprung a leak, so do a spring car check-up and look for leaking fluids, such as oil and antifreeze. These fluids get washed off of driveways, streets, and parking lots and straight into our rivers and lakes.
  1. Less is More: Every drop of water we don’t waste is one we’ll have on hand to meet our needs in the future. Install water-saving appliances such as toilets, dishwasher, washing machine, shower heads, and faucets in your home.

When we all do our part, our rivers, lakes, and drinking water can stay clean and healthy for everyone to enjoy!