World Water Day Sparks Clean Up Efforts at the Rivanna River

Posted: Updated: Mar 21, 2015 09:38 PM
Rivanna Conservation Society heads up event to commemorate World Water Day. Rivanna Conservation Society heads up event to commemorate World Water Day.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Piles of tossed-aside litter and rubbish from water run-off are out of the Rivanna River in Charlottesville Saturday thanks to dozens of volunteers. Their clean-up Saturday was part of the celebration of World Water Day.

"There's a day for everything, but not the most precious resource we have," says Robbi Savage, Rivanna Conservation Society.

That's why Savage says World Water Day began. In 2015, her group partnered with business students and teachers at the University of Virginia's Darden School.  Around 75 volunteers went to three locations along the river at the Free Bridge, the Rivanna Reservoir, and Meadow Creek. They removed a winter's worth of trash to keep it from ever getting into the community's water source.

“We thought that it would actually be good not to talk about water, right? And the idea came up to actually do a river clean-up," stated Peter Debaere, UVA Darden school professor.

Volunteers say every community needs to participate in conservation to protect the water. "Whatever happens upstream goes downstream right? So it's a bit of stewardship and being aware of the impact that you have on others,"stated Debaere.

At the end of the event, participants could see their work in the form of piles of trash that had been removed from the waters.

Savage says continuing efforts like this clean-up will keep the Rivanna a clean resource for the community. "When you go paddling or you want to take your kids out you're going to have a cleaner river because of today."

Saturday's event was co-sponsored by the Rivanna Conservation Society and the University of Virginia's Urban and Environmental Planning Program, the office of the Vice President for Research, the Center for Global Health, the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation, the Department of Environmental Sciences, the Darden School of Business, Institute for Business in Society, the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, Sustainability UVA, Green Grounds, the Outdoor Club, the Nature Conservancy and more.

UVA will host a series of talks by experts on water conservation through April 1, for more information on upcoming events, click here.