National Groundwater Awareness Week March 11-17, 2018

March 14, 2018

South Plains Underground Water Conservation District (SPUWCD) joins the National Groundwater Awareness Week (#GWAW2018), an annual observance established to highlight the responsible development, management, and use of water. Established in 1999, National Groundwater Awareness Week provides an opportunity for people to learn about the importance of groundwater and how the resource impacts lives.

“Approximately 132 million Americans rely on groundwater for drinking water, so simply put, the resource makes life possible,” said Aaron Martin, public relations and awareness manager for NGWA. “Additionally, groundwater is used for irrigation, livestock, manufacturing, mining, thermoelectric power, and several additional purposes, making it one of the most widely used and valuable natural resources we have.”

Consider the following:

*  Only 1 percent of the water on Earth is useable, 99 percent of which is groundwater

* The largest U.S. aquifer is the Ogallala, underlying 250,000+ square miles stretching from South Dakota to Texas. Scientists estimate it could take 6000 years to naturally refill the aquifer if it were ever fully depleted.

* Americans use 79.6 billion gallons of groundwater each day.

* 44 percent of the U.S. population depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply.

* More than 13.2 million households have their own well.

Because groundwater literally makes life possible, we need to take collective steps to ensure this natural resource is both clean and available for generations to come. You can be part of the solution by making small changes that cumulatively have a big impact:

* Conserve water inside and outside your home with simple steps like taking shorter showers, repairing leaky faucets and fixtures, and watering outdoors only when necessary.

* Follow label instructions for household chemicals, and look for ways to decrease fertilizer/pesticide usage or runoff.

* Dispose of chemicals and household waste properly.

* Learn more about rainwater harvesting and xeriscape gardening.

* Have wells inspected by a licensed water well contractor and water tested once a year for contaminants.

The 2018 GWAW is also a platform to encourage yearly water well testing and well maintenance to prevent waterborne illnesses and help protect your family. #GWAW2018 theme of “Test. Tend. Treat.” was selected to encourage a more holistic approach to sustain an adequate supply of quality water.

Testing your water might prompt well inspection and maintenance, and water treatment can mitigate naturally occurring contamination revealed by the test.

So, TEST your water, TEND to your well and water system, then TREAT the water if necessary. SPUWCD, along with NGWA, encourages every person to be a “groundwater advocate” both during National Groundwater Awareness Week and beyond by protecting and conserving groundwater. Basic water quality testing is available through your local groundwater district.

The National Ground Water Association is a not-for-profit professional society and trade association for the global groundwater industry. Members around the world include leading public and private sector groundwater scientists, engineers, water well system professionals, manufacturers, and suppliers of groundwater-related products and services. The Association’s vision is to be the leading groundwater association advocating for responsible development, management and use of water.

National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 11-17, 2018 is a great time to start doing your part!

For more information about The Groundwater Foundation and how you can get involved, visit www.groundwater.org or visit NGWA at www.ngwa.org or www.wellowner.org to learn more. Additionally, visit www.spuwcd.org for local resources and information.

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Category: Agriculture