Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Remembering a Groundwater Hero

by Cindy Kreifels, Groundwater Foundation Executive Vice President

Today I learned that the world has lost a hero, a groundwater hero that is. Vernon Haverstick, 91, of El Paso, Texas passed away on February 11, 2010. I had the pleasure of meeting Vern and his wife Ann many years ago because of the great work has done on behalf of groundwater.

Vern became involved in groundwater protection in 1989 by participating in the El Paso Wellhead Protection Project. Vern learned of the project through the El Paso Retired Senior Volunteer Program and took the initiative to assist in recruiting 23 citizen volunteers to conduct a potential contaminant source inventory around El Paso’s 144 public water supply wells. Vern helped to write a “how-to” manual describing the methods utilized which the EPA has distributed in many states throughout the country and has been translated into several languages and distributed in other countries. The methodology, techniques, and inventory forms developed by Vern and his team of volunteers to conduct comprehensive groundwater protection inventories have been utilized by communities throughout the nation. Vern and his team of volunteers also inventoried drinking water supplies and septic tank systems in the colonias throughout El Paso County, and he served as a mentor for many students participating in a bi-national groundwater protection project.

Vern was a perfect example of the action that could and should be taken locally to help protect groundwater resources. In 1996, The Groundwater Foundation had the honor to recognize Vern Haverstick for his achievements. Today, we do the same. Vern was a true friend to groundwater, the kind every community needs.


ojack36 said...

People like him are unique and make a difference in the quality of life we have , an yet we never really hear about them. They are motivated I guess by what they do more than recognition and awards wish I could have met him he sounds like an intelligent man. Thanks for posting this sorry to hear about his passing , in cases like this best we can do is support there ideas .

Anonymous said...

Vernon was my grandfather, a very amazing and devoted man.
I feel graciously indebted to this organization, many years ago when he travelled to MN for the presentation of the Groundwater Hero award, I was attending college in South Dakota and was afforded some amazing memories. This organization means a lot to our family.