Monday, May 25, 2015

Anniversary Story: "Having a Little Fun Along the Way" by Karen Kelley

"Having a Little Fun Along the Way"
by Karen Kelley, Independence Groundwater Guardian Team, Missouri

The City of Independence, Missouri receives all their drinking water from 42 wells along the Missouri River.  

As part of our educational efforts surrounding the importance of keeping our groundwater safe from contamination, we invite all the 5th grade students from the Independence Public School System to the drinking water plant each October. 

In 2014, over 1,100 students and their teachers toured the water plant and laboratory to see where their water comes from and how it is treated.  Each student also makes their own edible aquifer to see firsthand how groundwater can be contaminated and how important it is to be responsible stewards of this precious resource. 

After the study trips, we often receive letters from the students telling about their favorite parts of the day.  While each student describes the day a little differently, we are pleased that the students are excited about what they learned and have a greater appreciation for the aquifer that supplies them with the water that they need. 
Having a little fun along the way is great, as well.




 
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21 Weeks Until the 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration!

30th Anniversary Story Teller Sponsor
Marshfield Utilities


30th Anniversary Story Teller Supporter
National Ground Water Association

Monday, May 18, 2015

Anniversary Story: "Source Water Education" by Yvonne Shaffer

Source Water Education”
By Yvonne Shaffer, Meadville Area Water Authority Groundwater Guardian Team, Pennsylvania

We are in the business of water.  So water is very important to us and we are very concerned about the protection of our groundwater supply.  Because of that, we decided to develop an annual educational program in the area schools to promote groundwater protection and conservation.

For the past 15 years, around National Drinking Water Week, which occurs the first full week in May, Yvonne Shaffer (American Water) and Edward Adams (Meadville Area Water Authority) have presented Source Water Protection educational programs to the 6th grade classes at the six elementary schools in our area.  Using a number of models and handouts, the presentations give the students a real “hands on” opportunity to learn about source water supply, groundwater protection and conservation.

Each year the students are asked to create a poster demonstrating what they learned during the presentations. They have responded with great enthusiasm and this year we received about 350 posters depicting various subjects discussed during the presentation at their school.

The posters are judged by a panel of judges made up of community members who share a concern about the protection of our water supply.  The posters are judged based on content as it is related to the presentation topics, originality of design, and overall appearance.  The judges’ task is never easy, as the students do such a great job!  

Every year, all of the posters are displayed at the Downtown Mall in Meadville, Pennsylvania for one week.  An awards ceremony is held during that time, honoring twelve winning students. The awards ceremony is always well attended by the students, their families and teachers. Presenters include geologists and others who work in the water industry and share their concerns about groundwater protection before presenting the students with their awards. 

The 2014 winning poster contest winner.  Lexi Ellis, with MAWA Board Chairman, Timothy Groves.

Lexi’s first place poster will be printed on a bookmark with suggestions for good source water conservation and protection habits that will be distributed to the 6th grade classes next year.  All of the winning posters were aired on the Crawford Central cable channel for one week as well.  

The twelve prize winners receive prize packages donated by area vendors and others interested in supporting groundwater protection, who provided us with the bags (made from recycled pop bottles) to put all of the prizes in that were donated by over 30 sponsors. Prizes included everything from water bottles, frizbees and trinkets, to gift cards, certificates and coupons.
 
We are gearing up for our 16th year of presentations and bringing an awareness about the importance of groundwater protection to another 300 plus students in our region again this year. Our first group of students are about 28 years old now.  Over the fifteen years of presentations, we have directly reached between 4500 and 5000 students.  And through our poster contest and awards ceremony, we have also reached the numerous family members that come to the awards ceremony to watch their student receive this award.  It has been a very rewarding and beneficial program in our area schools.  We have received so much support from the schools and from the community for our program, making the presentations and the wonderful prize packages for the poster contest awards ceremony possible and helping to make our program such a tremendous success in our community.


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22 Weeks Until the 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration!

30th Anniversary Story Teller Sponsor
Marshfield Utilities

30th Anniversary Story Teller Supporter
National Ground Water Association

Monday, May 11, 2015

Anniversary Story: "My View of Groundwater" by Deb Springman

“My View of Groundwater”
By Deb Springman, East Dakota Water Development District

Years ago I wouldn’t have known
But working with natural resource I’ve grown

To understand what lies beneath this land
Between the soil, rocks, and sand
 
Something that each of us needs
As do the animals, the plants and their seeds
 
More precious than gold
At great depths may be thousands of years old
 
Natural springs and artesian wells
Rising up through the ground where it dwells
 
The Great Artesian Basin, Guarani, and Ogallala to name a few
Are just some of the homes it flows through 
 
Has been threatened by overuse
Target of conflict and political abuse
 
Being used heavily for irrigation and drinking
What a calamity if it’s actually shrinking
 
A resource to which we all have a connection
Needs everyone’s help to ensure its protection
 
Deb Springman
East Dakota Water Development District
132B Airport Avenue
Brookings, SD  57006

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23 Weeks Until the 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration!

30th Anniversary Story Teller Sponsor
Marshfield Utilities

30th Anniversary Story Teller Supporter
National Ground Water Association