Water, Water Everywhere

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Zoe Strecker’s feature article on the promising future of hydro power in Kentucky, http://www.under-main.com/water-power-the-low-hanging-fruit-of-energy-alternatives/, highlights a resource which is plentiful in the Commonwealth.  In a world that is getting warmer and where many places in our country are running out of water, this could be a very big deal if this increasingly rare resource is conserved, protected, and appropriately utilized.

Here are some water facts about our fair, albeit kinda wet, state:

  • Kentucky ranks 12th among all states in average annual precipitation, with an average of approximately 49 inches.
  • Kentucky has more navigable miles of water than any state except Alaska.
  • There are more than 90,000 miles of streams, one of the most complex and expansive stream systems in the country.
  • There are 45 major lakes in Kentucky, including reservoirs.  Only three of the lakes are natural.
  • Kentuckians use more than 4.3 billion gallons of water per day and most of it is returned to streams.
  • Surface water sources (rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, wetlands) provide about 95 percent of the water used in Kentucky.
  • According to the Nature Conservancy, Kentucky ranks fourth in US in the diversity of freshwater fish species.

– Art Shechet

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