Friday, September 27, 2013

They're Never Too Young!

by Jennifer Wemhoff, Program Manager
Earlier this week I participated in a Naturepalooza event at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It included a number of booths, activities, shows, and other fun stuff for families and children to learn more about nature.
The Groundwater Foundation's Naturepalooza booth involved participants in making Groundwater Protection Bracelets. Different color beads represent various activities that can be done at home to help protect and conserve groundwater. Kids learn that they can make easy choices - like turning the water off when they brush their teeth, taking shorter showers, recycling, and learning more about water - can make a difference, and their bracelet is a fun, visual reminder of that.
My husband and 2.5 year old daughter came out to Naturepalooza, and she had an absolute ball making bracelets. She sat with me while I helped other kids make their bracelets, and heard me talk over and over about what groundwater is, and how and why we should protect it.
On the way home, she was joyfully telling her daddy about her bracelet. "Look at my bracelet, Daddy!" she said. "Yes, it's a pretty bracelet," he replied. "No, Daddy," she told him seriously. "It's a groundwater bracelet."
When my husband told me this story, my heart swelled. She was actually listening to me while playing with the beads. She heard me talk about groundwater, and at least a little bit sunk in. One of her favorite books is "Wally and Wanda's Groundwater Adventure." Granted, she likes the pictures more than hearing about groundwater's movement and the water cycle, but I overheard her one night "reading" it to herself and attempting to say the word "evaporation." 
Kids are never too young to learn about water!  Children are such sponges, and soak up what they hear. It's important that we take the opportunity to help them learn about how precious groundwater is, and that they can make a difference!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Alternatives to Fightin' Over Water

By Steve Mossman, Groundwater Foundation Board Member

When I was a year out of law school, I authored a law review article for the Creighton Law Review about Nebraska’s first integrated water management law with the subtitle  “Whiskey is for Drinkin’ and Water is for Fightin’ About”.  Nearly two decade later that subtitle is still accurate.  I am currently involved in a water dispute that has been ongoing for 6½ years with a third appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court pending. 

The different approach to groundwater taken by the Groundwater Foundation is one of the many reasons why I am proud to have completed a year of service on its Board. Instead of fighting about groundwater, the Groundwater Foundation believes in a collaborative approach to educating and protecting our very lifeblood.

Through programs like the Groundwater Guardian recognizing communities that promote groundwater awareness and its companion Green Sites recognizing  green space stewardship efforts, the Groundwater Foundation focuses on what can bring communities together. And, the Groundwater Foundation has always been focused on youth, educating our next generation on the importance of protecting and preserving groundwater through such innovative teaching tools as our new Water1der Mobile App.

While it may be instinctive to fight about a precious resource it is often more productive to seek solutions through a collaborative, community based approach. Currently the Groundwater Foundation and its excellent staff is concentrating on its 2013 National Conference titled “Tools for Groundwater Sustainability: Working Together to Meet the Challenge”.  I would invite you to Howey-in-the-Hills outside of Orlando, Florida to attend the Conference.  Registration information is available here:

Let’s work together on the important mission of the Groundwater Foundation. 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Protect Your Groundwater Day - Act Now!

By Jane Griffin, President, The Groundwater Foundation
Today is National Protect Your Groundwater Day – so what are you doing to protect groundwater?
If you need some ideas you can visit this website.

And, if you really want to take your protection steps to a new level come to our conference to learn about efforts that individuals and communities are putting into action each day. More information is on The Groundwater Foundation website.
Remember, groundwater provides drinking water for over half of the population in the USA and is a major source of irrigation to grow our food. It is important to protect this resource!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Top Ten Reasons Your Girl Scout will Love Let's Keep It Clean!

by Amy Kessner, The Groundwater Foundation

Let's Keep It Clean! is a new Girl Scout patch program for all levels of Girl Scouts developed by The Groundwater Foundation and Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska. For more information visit And now, without further ado, here are the top ten reasons your Girl Scout will love Let's Keep It Clean!

10) She can share all that she has learned and created online!

Any activity that your Girl Scout participates in can be shared online. We love to hear what Girl Scouts are learning and how they are effecting change in their communities! Share your stories, photos, and other documents online here.

9) She will love Frannie the Fish.

Frannie is a beloved character at The Groundwater Foundation with an adventurous spirit. Your Girl Scout can learn from and teach others about Frannie's story.

8) She will have an excuse to eat a sweet treat (while learning about groundwater, of course).

Edible Aquifers are amped up soda floats that will allow your Girl Scout to learn about the geologic formation of aquifers, how pollution can get into groundwater, and how pumping can cause a decline in the water table.

7) She will get to develop her critical thinking and teamwork skills!

In You Be the Judge your Girl Scout will read through various scenarios with a team of Girl Scouts and decide how to solve a problem.

6) She can practice her engineering skills by creating an aquifer, designing a water wheel, and building a model center pivot!

Is your Girl Scout creative? Does she love new projects that allow her to build and design? Then your Girl Scout will love the opportunity to create an aquifer, design a water wheel, and build a model center pivot!

5) She can learn about the water cycle and become a gardener all at the same time.

In Growing with Groundwater your Girl Scout will create a miniature terrarium that demonstrates the different phases of the water cycle. 

4) She will gain ideas for her bronze, silver, or gold award.

If your Girl Scout is looking to earn her bronze, silver, or gold award, the Let's Keep It Clean! patch books are full of ideas for her award project. You can purchase the patch books online at The Groundwater Foundation's Shop.

3) She will have fun with other Girl Scouts, learn about groundwater, and earn a patch all at the same time!

Check out the new Nebraska Girl Scouts Program Book for the dates of upcoming programs, Camp Adventure Weekends, and Programs on Demand.

2) She can earn not one, but two patches!

Your Girl Scout will have the opportunity to earn two patches through the Let's Keep It Clean! program by learning about and taking action to protect groundwater.

1) She'll make a difference in her community.

At every level - from Daisy to Ambassador - your Girl Scout will be able to have a positive influence on her community through the knowledge she gains in the Let's Keep It Clean! program. Let's Keep It Clean! will provide her with hands-on activities to learn about groundwater and practical ways she can implement change in her home and community by conserving and protecting groundwater!