Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Protection, groundwater needs. On Earth, it is.

By: Anthony Lowndes, The Groundwater Foundation

There has been a lot of talk about the water on celestial bodies over the last year. Saturn’s moon Titan is dotted with mysterious lakes and Enceladus vents water vapor and ice from a subsurface ocean. Oh, don’t forget that salt water running down the slopes of our neighbor, Mars. While it is undoubtedly exciting to find water elsewhere in our galaxy, we are humans, on Earth. I don’t mean to squelch these discoveries and the journeys we will take because of them, I only wish to point out that our “Blue Marble” is about 71% covered in water.

Image credit: Apollo 11 Astronauts
There are 2,551,000 mi3 of fresh water on or below the surface of the Earth.[1] Space is vast and seemingly unlimited unlike our supply of fresh water. People across the country and around the world are beginning to find this out the hard way. Much like balancing the light and dark sides of The Force (can you tell I saw the new Star Wars movie?), it is difficult to balance the supply and demand for water. The good news is there are people and communities working toward a balance in this force, the force of water. Many of those communities are Groundwater Guardians. Working globally and acting locally for the betterment of water supplies is what the Groundwater Guardian program is all about. 

The community-based approach to groundwater protection works, and it is something that you, here on Earth, can get involved with. Check the Groundwater Guardian directory to find a Groundwater Guardian community near you. If there aren’t any near you, be your own force and get one started.

May the force be with you.

[1] United States Geologic Survey. “How much water is there on, in, and above the Earth?” http://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html

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