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U.S. Groundwater Awareness Week continues to grow


March 26, 2014
By Ground Water Canada

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March 26, 2014, Westerville, OH – While’s it’s said
groundwater is “out of sight and out of mind” for many people, that is becoming
less and less true as America’s National Groundwater Awareness Week continues
to grow in reach and impact each year. Groundwater Awareness Week was
founded and is driven by the National Groundwater Association (NGWA).

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Just one indicator of progress in raising public awareness,
cites the NGWA, is the nearly 400 websites—a record number—promoting this year’s 16th edition of
Groundwater Awareness Week, which ran March 9-15.

In Illinois alone, at least 10 county health departments
promoted groundwater awareness to constituents such as Lake County, which offered
discounted water tests to well owners.

"About 90,000 Lake County residents rely on groundwater
from aquifers to supply their private wells," said Tony Beltran, the
Health Department's executive director in a news release. "The Health
Department encourages all users of private wells to take this time to have
their drinking water tested, and to test it at least annually to see if it
meets the minimum drinking water standards."  

The breadth and depth of organizations educating the public
during Groundwater Awareness Week was significant, indicates the NGWA:

  • Federal agencies including the CDC, U.S. EPA, U.S.
    Department of the Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey
  • Non-governmental national organizations including the American Farm
    Bureau Federation
    , American Water Resources Association, Association
    of State Drinking Water Administrators, Association of State and Territorial
    Health Officials, Golf Course Superintendents Association, Irrigation
    Association, National Association of Conservation Districts, and the National
    Rural Health Association.
  • News media ranging from Mother Earth
    News
    to the (FL) Oyster Radio
    WOYS 100.5
  • State agencies from the Maryland Department of the
    Environment to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
  • Universities from Cornell University to the University of
    Memphis (TN)
  • Extension services from The Ohio State University to Penn
    State to Texas A&M
  • State associations from the Idaho
    Environmental Health Association
    to the Virginia Water Environment
    Association
  • Local government entities from the (CA) Santa Clara Valley Water
    District
    to the city of Madison, Wisconsin.

 

NGWA Public Awareness director Cliff Treyens said National
Groundwater Awareness Week adds momentum to individual organization efforts to
educate the public about groundwater and water well stewardship.

“Instead of a lonely voice here and there, Groundwater
Awareness Week creates a chorus of voices that speaks loudly about what is
arguably our nation’s most important natural resource—groundwater,” Treyens
said.

Mark your calendars! Treyens encouraged all NGWA members to
mark their calendars for the next “watershed” groundwater recognition event—Protect Your
Groundwater Day
on September 9 and plan to promote it to the public.