It is quite surprising that the United States in ONLY NOW waking up to the fact that weekend gardeners especially in Spring when they begin to clean up and get ready for the new season of flowering, and grass cutting, that they are using 10 times the pesticides and harmful chemicals on their yards, per sq ft than farmers use, primarily due to the smaller allotments.
As the link below in the New York Times attests, it is time to realize the huge negative effects on health by this practice, and learn from this and take steps to MINIMIZE their use, as it has long term harmful effects on the water supply and public health.
Thankfully we have not got to this state yet as far as homeowners are concerned, but as farmers we of course have a problem in our practices which we find hard to change. Nevertheless this issue of Chemical Contamination of the Ground water is a Universal Problem, and I will not be surprised if there are international conventions covering the use of such, before long.
The main thing is Education (repeat the word as much as you want!) as until our citizens, most especially the young who are easier to convince and begin a life time of good practice, realize their duty to their fellow man in preserving their country for future generations, we will have an increasing problem.
Water therefore needs a special place in our psyche. We must value it, store it preserve, protect it from harmful toxins, and do whatever we can to use it wisely in both home and agricultural practices in our daily lives.
Let us begin my mandating water conservation methods and rainwater harvesting as part of building codes and requirements for new constructions. This has to be tied in with Dengue prevention methods too, to ensure we do not compromise that effort by careless storage methods for water. If we view water as precious, especially as many of our citizens have been in the Middle East where they can see its importance, and its value, we will then take steps to include these practices without delay. It is better to start now, so when the problem really begins to bite, our preparedness will save us from misery!