Have you had a drink of water recently? Just a simple glass of cool, clear water from your kitchen faucet? If not, why not grab one before you read on? And as you drink it, let’s trace its roots back through your plumbing, through the city water system or back into your well, into the groundwater, all the way to its origin in the Rathdrum Prairie Spokane Valley aquifer. And maybe even before that! Lakes in our region like Coeur d’Alene, Pend Oreille and Spirit Lake feed the aquifer on a daily basis. That aquifer supplies drinking water to over 500,000 people in the Inland Northwest. One big contributor to the aquifer is Hayden Lake—to the tune of 45 million gallons of water per day! And every gallon travels through the Richards family property. Residents of Hayden have long enjoyed the views of this property from Honeysuckle Beach, but few are aware of this critical connection to our clean water. Thanks to the Richards family and their work with the Conservancy, instead of being developed into dozens of houses, this land will stay green and growing, pouring fresh, cool water from the Idaho foothills into the aquifer for generations to come! One more thing to appreciate about that glass of water in your hand.