Thursday, January 19, 2017

BLOG: Setting Up 2017 for Success

by Sara Brock, Groundwater Foundation Program Manager

I joined The Groundwater Foundation as an intern in August 2016 and was lucky enough to be hired on as a Program Manager in December. Prior to these events, I graduated college and left for Asia with little-to-no idea about what I wanted to pursue, beyond having a vaguely directed passion for protecting the environment.

During my time abroad, I talked with project leaders who were designing watershed curriculum for rural schools in the Himalayas. I worked with farmers who fought downpours during the monsoon season but also knew how to supersaturate the ground with the rains so they could be used for irrigation during the dry season. And as gross and awkward as it was, I managed to hand-flush toilets to save on water and energy costs.

I’d like to say that I came back with a better understanding of the function of groundwater in society and how to engage with the issues surrounding it but you’d have to set my pants on fire. If anything, I have even more questions now than I did before I left. I think, though, that’s because I now know what kind of questions to ask.

The beginning of 2017 coincides with the beginning of what I feel will be a lifetime of studying hydrogeology and reminding myself to keep up my third-world conservation habits. So, to that end, I’ve made a list of resolutions that will set me up for success in 2017 and in the years to come.

  1. Learn (and retain!) some of the common vocabulary words and acronyms in hydrogeology and water conservation. Examples include: Potentiometric Surfaces, Transmissivity, WHPN, and the ever-confusing differentiation between NRD and DNR.
  2. Make myself aware of the groundwater issues in my community and talk to people in local environmental, agricultural, and political agencies to fully understand what’s being done about them.
  3. Be more conscious of where water plays a role in my life (such as the level of irrigation it takes to cultivate the non-shade grown coffee that I drink waaay too often).
  4. Educate my family, friends, and community about the resources The Groundwater Foundation provides.
  5. Spruce up my office and home with succulents and cacti. Not only are these pretty plants perfect for conservation-minded decorators, but they are also extremely difficult to kill for the absent-minded individual who forgets to water her plants for weeks at a time (read: me).

What about you? 
How will you help protect water in 2017?

No comments: