The Cost of Sprawl on Clean Water

By Kaid Benfield
Published: June 11, 2012

In my day job, I work for an NGO that’s all about water. Being a sophisticated organization, we know that means being all about watersheds. Watersheds are topographic areas where all the rain that falls eventually ends up in a namesake steam, river, lake, or estuary. Thus, for example, the watershed for the Ohio River extends to the towns not only along its banks, but also along its feeder streams sometimes hundreds of miles from the main stem – the Allegheny and Monongahela, coming together at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the Kanawha River, whose mouth is at Point Pleasant, West Virginia; the Little Sandy, ending its journey in Greenup, Kentucky; and countless hundreds more streams and places, large and small.

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