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Protecting our Watershed this Earth Day and Every Day

VICTORVILLE, Calif. ( – Protecting the Earth starts in your very own neighborhood. This is why, in honor of Earth Day this year, we’re reminding High Desert residents about our responsibility to protect the Mojave River Watershed.

So, what exactly is a watershed? A watershed is an area of land that collects stormwater and drains it into a larger body of water, such as a river. Here in the High Desert, the Mojave River Watershed collects groundwater from our residential areas including Hesperia, Victorville, the Town of Apple Valley, and unincorporated San Bernardino County, and drains into the Mojave River. 

Because of our proximity to the watershed, our actions have a huge impact on the local water quality. The water that we drink and use in our homes is welled, pumped, and filtered from the Mojave River. 

Household waste like pet waste, food wrappers, motor oil, cleaners, pesticides, and lawn clippings is one of the Mojave River Watershed’s biggest sources of pollution. When we fail to properly dispose of household waste, chemicals, and other toxins, they seep through the ground or are washed away by stormwater and into the watershed.

The good news? We can help keep the water supply safe and clean for years to come with small changes to everyday habits. Here are some ways that you can protect the Mojave River Watershed this Earth Day and every day:

Take care of your pets

  • Pick up pet waste. Pet waste left on the ground can transmit harmful bacteria to our water supply. 
  • Bathe your pets indoors or have them professionally groomed. Pet shampoos that make it into our waterways can be toxic for people and marine life.

Properly dispose of household waste

  • Take hazardous waste to a hazardous waste collection site. Call (800) CLEANUP for the location of your city’s facility.
  • Cut down on your use of chemicals by using biodegradable cleaners, water-based paints and other eco-friendly alternatives. 

Maintain your yard

  • Fix sprinkler leaks and make sure sprinklers are pointed in the right direction. This can lower your water bill, ensure that less water is wasted, and most importantly prevent runoff. 
  • Do not apply fertilizer or pesticide to your lawn before it rains. It will get washed into storm drains and into our water supply. 
  • Put your leaves, grass clippings, and other yard waste in green bins or compost them. Avoid blowing, sweeping, or hosing them into the street or gutter. Yard waste can clog catch basins and pollute waterways.

Actively help

(Volunteers at the City of Hesperia’s Cleanup Day picked up litter and debris on April 9, 2022 at locations throughout the city. )

It is up to all of us in the High Desert to protect our water supply from pollution. 

Submitted by the Mojave River Watershed Group (MRWG), a nonprofit organization committed to protecting the Mojave River, its watershed, plants and wildlife, and ultimately the High Desert water supply against stormwater pollution. MRWG is comprised of representatives from the City of Victorville, the City of Hesperia, the Town of Apple Valley, and unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County.

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