Report from Groundwater Week 2018

Ground Water Canada
December 06, 2018
By Ground Water Canada
Contractors, scientists, manufacturers and industry professionals fill the trade show floor of NGWA's annual Groundwater Week at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Wednesday. Approximately 5,000 attendees were expected, organizers said.
Contractors, scientists, manufacturers and industry professionals fill the trade show floor of NGWA's annual Groundwater Week at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Wednesday. Approximately 5,000 attendees were expected, organizers said. Photo by David Judd
Las Vegas, NV – Groundwater Week is where some 5,000 water well drillers, pump installers, water treatment specialists, scientists, researchers, manufacturers and suppliers came together for a unique opportunity to learn about their own and other facets of the industry, scope out new products and compare notes with their peers.

Tuesday was given over to learning, with dozens of sessions on offer on such areas of interest as ground water modelling, monitoring, policy, water quality, drilling techniques and business improvement.

Learning sessions included an update from NGWA’s Lauren Schapker on where policy stands with regard to PFAS found in firefighting foam and other products, and how interested parties can get involved in spreading awareness of the threat they pose to the environment. Takeaways from the productive meeting included a plan by the NGWA to provide white papers to various sectors of the industry – drillers, manufacturers, scientists, etc. – detailing how they may be affected by the presence of these substances in the soil and ground water.

Bill Brown of SkyTEM Canada, headquartered in Ayr, Ont., shared details of the company’s airborne electromagnetic surveys, which can deliver high-quality subsurface data and may be applied to map ground water around the world. The geophysical information collected complements existing borehole information, Brown explained in his presentation.

A business-focused session entitled “What is Your Business Outlook for the Next Five Years: Thrive or Dive,” turned into a deep dive into hiring challenges and practices, including what works and what doesn’t for water well drilling business owners and managers. Moderator Kathryn Butcher, CMP, of the NGWA, started out by asking attendees where they see their business in five years. While most said they see their businesses growing, many expressed challenges with finding and keeping competent and motivated employees. Strategies such as posting on social media (including changing the language of the job ads frequently), getting referrals from current workers, and posting large physical signs near highway locations. The consensus was that there is no magic bullet: a combination of methods yielded the best results.

Look for more details on these and other sessions, and on next steps for the new Canadian National Ground Water Association in the Winter issue of Ground Water Canada.

The trade show floor saw much tire-kicking and in-depth discussions between manufacturers and distributors and contractors looking to add to their fleets, upgrade their equipment or try new products on the market.

Grundfos’ booth provided some excitement in the form of a friendly but serious competition to see which water well contractors could assemble the company’s pumps the fastest without error. The pump manufacturer held the finals of its WaterPRO Championships as scores of interested attendees crammed the booth. Jason Johnson earned the title of Grundfos 2018 WaterPRO Champion.

Check out our Facebook gallery, Groundwater Week 2018, for photo highlights! Don’t forget to like us while you’re there!

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