Thursday, June 30, 2016

Risk Communication and Wellhead Protection

By Cindy Kreifels, The Groundwater Foundation

Risks can be faced in just about any endeavor.  The risks may be perceived or real.  They may be big or small.  The important thing is how we deal with those risks. 

Wellhead protection is all about identifying the risks to a certain well or set of wells.  One of the first steps of the wellhead protection process is a contaminant source inventory or looking at what are the potential risks to a particular drinking water well.  Completing this step gives us the information to proactively protect our drinking water by mitigating the risk. 

Often times this requires the action of all citizens and as such we need to be able to communicate the potential risks in such a way that they understand that everyone needs to change their behaviors to protect their drinking water.  However, risk communication is a skill.  One that many of us have not learned.

The Groundwater Foundation will be providing a presentation on risk communication at its upcoming Wellhead Protection Network meeting on July 7th.  Join us for the meeting to learn how to inspire communities to get on board with wellhead protection and how to get citizens to understand the issues and take part in protection efforts.  Steven Wolf, Community Engagement Director with JEO Consulting Group will share his expertise around this topic.  If you are able to attend, please RSVP to Cindy at  Attendance is free - lunch costs $10.

Share with us your ideas and thoughts concerning risk communication.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

2016 "Be Waterwise" Poster Contest

By: Jessica Wheeler, The Groundwater Foundation

The Lincoln, Nebraska Groundwater Guardian team hosts an annual water conservation poster contest for fifth graders across the city. The first place winner's art will be featured on a StarTran bus board and the second place winner's artwork will be featured on billboards throughout Lincoln.

 First place - Aleena Nguyen, Pyrtle Elementary
Second place - Evyn Shafer, Lincoln Christian
Tied for third place - Alaina Nielsen, Morley Elementary

Tied for third place - Caleb Schwerdtfeger, St. John's

How does your community get involved with water conservation and protection? Join the Groundwater Guardian program, a nationwide network of over 70 communities working locally to raise groundwater awareness.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

11 Ways to Conserve Water During Summer Fun

by Jennifer Wemhoff, The Groundwater Foundation

Kids are out of school and summer is upon us. Many times summer fun involves water, and here are easy ways to conserve water during summer fun.

1. If you want to beat the heat by running through the sprinkler, make it have a purpose! Periodically move the sprinkler around the lawn to give it all a good watering. 

2. Position your sprinkler to water your garden or landscape while the kids splash and play.
3. Install a rain barrel on one of your home's downspouts. Let your kids paint and decorate it for a colorful, unique addition to your landscape.

4. If you're lucky enough to have a backyard pool, use a pool cover and keep the water cool to help reduce water lost to evaporation.

5. Stay cool by placing a wet cloth around your neck instead of using misters, where most of the water evaporates immediately.

6. Spend more time having fun and less time on yardwork - mow your grass less often and cut it longer. Less water will evaporate from taller grass, and you'll save time and energy by mowing less.

7. On your family vacation, reuse your hotel towels throughout your stay to conserve water and save on detergent added to water.
8. When eating out on your vacation, decline the frequent water refills if you don't plan to drink it for less water wasted down the drain.

9. Take the kids to the pool and skip the bath. Swimming counts as a bath during the summer, right?

10. Fill reusable water bottles instead of disposable plastic bottles during sporting events and summer road trips.

11. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge for a refreshing drink after fun in the sun.