Editorial: Summer 2014
Happy 40th! Ground Water Canada is celebrating 40 years in Canada’s ground water industry
By Laura Aiken
Ground Water Canada was launched in 1974, a busy year peppered with Watergate and the invention of the Rubik’s cube.
Ground Water Canada was launched in 1974, a busy year peppered with Watergate and the invention of the Rubik’s cube. Founded by Peter Phillips and Peter Darbishire, the magazine was originally called Canadian Water Well. In 2004, it was purchased by Annex Business Media, its current owner. Our summer edition is dedicated to celebrating 40 years of service to our readers, some of whom I like to imagine have been with us from the beginning.
Considering entire lives are changed in the seconds it takes to make or take life, a whole heck of a lot happens over the course of four decades: Richard Nixon’s resignation over Watergate; Canada’s official independence from Britain; the Internet; the Gulf War; 9/11; and then more war. It seems the world is always fighting for something, and protection and people are always at the heart of it. The ground water industry is no exception to the rule. A fight for more education and training, for those who work in the industry and the public who depend on water, has been a consistent part of Ground Water Canada’s coverage from Day One. And so have the people behind the fight to conserve and grow; the people on the ground delivering this precious resource upon which human life depends.
In the same year Canada’s national water well publication was born, Ralph Jacobs started drilling wells and fell in love with the water industry. There was just something about it, he said to me during a telephone interview from Nova Scotia. Jacobs’ drilling skills took him from water wells to the oil fields, and back to water again, where he became a prominent fixture in the Maritimes ground water industry. You can read more about Jacobs, his company Bluenose Well Drilling, and his perspective on the past 40 years in the water well industry in our profile on page 16.
One theme Jacobs returned to more than once in my conversation with him was the importance of a family business. He viewed it as the conduit for keeping the ground water industry united, because family businesses are invested in longevity – they want to keep together as a unit, keep the reputation that’s been earned, and keep the family tradition going. The ground water industry is a very family-oriented field, one in which children charm and cavort about its trade shows and generations can be heard voicing opinions side-by-side at meetings. Ground water conventions even offer spousal programs. These are not the sights, sounds and itineraries of all industries. I agree with Jacobs; family is at the heart of Canada’s water industry, and its future strength will be affected by the success of the next wave of succession.
Look behind or look ahead – people are most definitely at the heart of the Canadian ground water industry. Whatever challenges may come will be best fought by a united front that resembles a strong family, and perhaps that form will come in the shape of a renewed Canadian association. Ground water is serious business, and there is still a fight needed to keep it at the forefront of government and public consciousness.
Ground Water Canada is proud to be part of Canada’s ground water family, and we will strive to continue its service to readers for many more years to come. Thank you to all our readers and advertisers for supporting this publication for 40 great years.