Thursday, March 17, 2011

Who’s Responsible for Protecting Groundwater?

Ever since I was small, it has seemed that people look for someone else to take responsibility for things that need to be done. It is easier to let others ensure community safety, enact laws that protect us, take measures to ensure that we have clean and plentiful drinking water. Given that over 50 percent of us drink groundwater and all of us depend upon it to grow our food, whose responsibility should it be to protect groundwater?

In my opinion, that responsibility falls to all of us. Each and every person should act responsibly to ensure that groundwater is protected for future generations. Of course, that will mean working not only individually but also in cooperation with others. While each of us can be sure that our own actions, taking shorter showers, not dumping motor oil on the ground, etc. are accomplished, it is the bigger picture that will require collaborative efforts. Things like developing wellhead protection plans, creating zoning laws that protect groundwater, etc. that will require all of us to be on board and do our part.

What have communities done to create this collaborative approach to groundwater protection? What needs to be done on a community-wide basis to safeguard groundwater? When do we need to act and who will do so? These are exactly the questions that will be explored at the Groundwater Foundation’s 2011 National Conference to be held October 4-6, 2011. Mark your calendars and plan to join us as we explore a collaborative approach to groundwater protection.

For more information on the calendar, contact the Groundwater Foundation at 402-434-2740, email, or visit the Groundwater Foundation website.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spreading Awareness

by Brian Reetz, Program Coordinator

Awareness. It comes in many shapes, sizes and colors. It might be something that caught your line of sight while walking down the street. It might be something that you overheard at a coffee shop. It might have come to you as a stern message from someone whose opinion you value in the highest regards.

What is important is that you became more aware! This is National Groundwater Awareness Week and with our mission at the foundation to educate and inspire we share that awareness throughout the year, but put a special emphasis on it this week.

On Monday, we were able to help lead the discussion for the Wellhead Protection Network in Kearney. There were a lot of great thoughts on how we can make people more aware of protecting their drinking water throughout every community in Nebraska. Then on Tuesday morning, we were able to share more messages about the work that we have done in communities in the past year as part of the Natural Resource District Water Programs Conference in Kearney.

This week we also started airing our new radio spots on stations throughout the state of Nebraska and Channels 10/11 in Nebraska started airing our new television commercial (it’s also on MyTV). Earlier today, Jane Griffin appeared on the Clear Water Radio show. On Thursday morning, I will be appearing on 10/11’s morning show to talk about – you guessed it – groundwater awareness at 5:50 a.m. Many newspapers throughout the state have also run our awareness release that encourages everyone to take action in support of groundwater – the water you drink, the water that grows our food. Follow this link for all of our media tools --

Here’s something that you can do right now to benefit groundwater!

Rain Bird’s Intelligent Use of Water Awards program invites the public to use the final week of the 2011 Awards program (voting ends March 15) to help decide this year’s winning projects through online voting at The Groundwater Foundation has worked with Rain Bird as a partner to help promote and support the awards. Three Groundwater Guardian teams have submitted projects for consideration, including Lompoc, CA; Grand Island, NE; and Orange County, NC. Groundwater Guardian is a program of The Groundwater Foundation that recognizes communities of all types for implementing groundwater protection and education projects on the local level.

As you can see, it’s been a busy week but all for a great cause – keeping groundwater safe and available for future generations.