“Looks like you’re having another good year,” Dewey remarked. “You bet,” replied Al. “All that good nitrogen and phosphorous run-off from the fertilizer on folks’ lawns and farmers’ fields feeds us well. As you can see (or NOT see so clearly, Har, Har!) we’ve pretty much infiltrated the whole lake. So many tasty nutrients! The swimmers put up with the cloudy water and don’t complain too much.” Al Jaye smiled.
Dewey continued to float along wondering if humans shouldn’t be more careful about spewing excess nutrients when suddenly - ZOOP! Eve Aporation gathered Dewey up, and he was once again floating in the atmosphere. Where to? Only chance and weather’s foibles would determine.
Days later Dewey found himself crowded together with billions of his siblings in a thunderhead billowing over the New Mexican desert. He could sense that he’d soon rain down, so checking his GPS Dewey discovered he was over the Black River Recreation Area.
“Oh no!” sighed Dewey. “I’ll probably end up in some muddy desert water hole.” But to his great relief, he rained down into a clear, deep desert pool. By some amazing quirk of fate, three swimmers Dewey knew from the Cox Hollow lake were enjoying a dip. He heard them marvel at how surprisingly clear and clean the water was. “Well,” one speculated, “there aren’t any large-scale farms or fertilized lawns within miles. Guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the water stays so clean.”
Dewey thoroughly enjoyed his brief stay in this watery “desert dessert.” But with the hot sun’s help, Eve quickly snatched Dewey up again. As he sailed along, he realized the folks in Wisconsin didn’t have to settle for lakes loaded with Al Jaye and his kin. Clear, clean, excess-nutrient-free water is a real possibility that can become a reality for Wisconsin waters.
These days, farmers have high-tech means by which to carefully monitor and apply adequate, but not excessive fertilizers. Home-owners can re-assess their use of lawn chemicals that get poured into our fragile environment. Clearly, clean water is not only a blessing but also our responsibility on this, our only home where we’re all forever… Earthbound.