Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A New Year and New Beginnings

It’s a new year-- the perfect time to make our new year’s resolutions and new beginnings in our lives. Of course, there’s the usual ones – lose weight, eat healthier, get more exercise, spend more time with family, etc. In reality, without good, clean groundwater we couldn’t do any of these things. Groundwater accounts for 98% of the available water we use every day. Here are a few ideas to take action and protect groundwater in 2011 and many years to come—

• Shut off the water while brushing my teeth
• Run full loads of dishes and laundry
• Water plants only when necessary
• Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the fridge
• Take used motor oil to a recycling center

Grab a glass of water and toast to a year of new beginnings! Cheers!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Geothermal Systems: How do they work?

The other day I received the following e-mail requesting information about geothermal systems and the amount of groundwater they use each day.
“Anecdotally, I understand that geothermal systems extract thousands of gallons of water each and every day. Perhaps 20,000 to 40,000 gallons - solely for the purpose of extracting heat from the water. I'm not sure where the water goes after that: into a septic system? Into an injection well? If so, how deep? And if this much water is being extracted, circulated through household heating systems, and then forced back into the ground, how is the groundwater being affected?”

I was baffled as I thought most, if not all, geothermal systems used a closed loop system thereby not using great amounts of water. However, I have very limited knowledge of this topic and thought maybe some of you could provide more insight and potential answers to these questions.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Minnesota makes strides to help in protection efforts

By Brian Reetz, The Groundwater Foundation

It’s great to see when everyone gets involved in the protection efforts of water, and specifically about groundwater. It seems like the state of Minnesota is making quite an effort!

I came across an article the other day at about the efforts that are currently taking place in Minnesota. The Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework report is quite an undertaking but it has a great goal. According to the article, it would “start Minnesota down a path that would eventually ensure a stable supply of clean drinking water, restore the state’s legacy of clean lakes and rivers, and provide leadership nationally in identifying and regulating hundreds of new and potentially dangerous contaminants from pharmaceutical and other consumer products.” The report was presented to the state legislature this week.

Follow this link to read the article (the article also provides a link to the full report):

We currently have three teams in Minnesota as Groundwater Guardians, all of them in the City of Detroit Lakes. We also have two affiliates (LLMP Public Health Services and the Metro Area Groundwater Alliance). Work, such as this 25-year plan, should spur more people to take a proactive approach to protecting groundwater.

Another part of the article that was a highlight for me was this quote from Brad Moore, a government relations expert with Barr Engineering, “Imagine taking money out of a bank account without knowing how much is there.” This was in reference to a part of the plan that would measure the state’s groundwater.

In regards to that, I try to constantly add stories to our Twitter page so there is a source of information flowing. If you don’t currently follow us, do it today at groundwaterfdn.