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What is water management?
Raleigh Otter’s mother, Sallie Otter, works for the St. Johns River Water Management District. Her office is at its headquarters in Palatka, Fla. Raleigh thinks his mother has a cool job because her job is all about water, and Raleigh loves the water!
Mrs. Otter is an environmental scientist and enjoys her job because it allows her to work outside many days. Her favorite part of her job is when her work takes her to the St. Johns River or one of the smaller rivers and creeks that flows into the St. Johns River. When she gets to work outdoors, she takes water samples that she sends to the laboratory, where the water is tested to determine if it is healthy water.
Some days after school, Raleigh stops by his mother’s office to see the work that she is doing.
The people who work with Raleigh’s mother have many different things to do every day. Their work includes setting rules for water use, conducting research on water quality and quantity, collecting water use and water quality data, and restoring and protecting water above and below the ground.
When Raleigh visits his mother’s office, he always takes time to talk to other people who work in the office and enjoys the times when he gets to help out.
Alice Alligator spends a lot of time in her garden during her spare time, helping everyone to learn about waterwise landscaping. But, during the business day, she and her staff provide the computers and software that staff need to write reports, prepare financial documents, develop the models that track rainfall and water use, and prepare artistic outreach messages to keep the public informed of the district’s work.
Harriett Heron and her group are responsible for making sure that there will be plenty of clean, fresh drinking water around for Raleigh and his friends for years to come. Mrs. Heron works with staff members to make sure that people use just the water they need. Raleigh and his friends need water to drink, take baths, cook food and to play in. Others need water to make the products that we use in our homes and businesses.
William W. Owl
William W. Owl watches over the finances of the district. He’s an accountant who makes sure that money is available to buy the equipment and office supplies that the scientists and other district staff need to do their jobs. At the same time, he makes sure that everyone spends the money wisely and properly follows the rules for making purchases.
Ramon Raccoon works in the district’s laboratory. When Raleigh helps Mr. Raccoon, he watches the scientists mix chemicals with water samples to learn what toxins or other bad substances might be in the water samples. Raleigh has decided that his time in the laboratory is a bit like Halloween because he puts on safety goggles, a lab coat and rubber gloves for protection. Raleigh has also gotten to see the boat that the scientists use to ride on the river to collect water samples. Mr. Raccoon’s co–workers are scientists who study substances that pollute water, learn where those substances come from, and make water bodies healthy.
Tom Turtle is a land manager who loves his work because he gets to spend time outdoors, enjoying nature and protecting the plants and animals. Some days he counts the different kinds of animals living on public lands. Some days he helps a crew of firefighters who carefully set fires to burn off undergrowth – known as prescribed burning – to get rid of forest fuels that could burn very hot and uncontrolled in a wildfire.