Thursday, April 25, 2013

What Can I Do With My Unused Medications?

by Cindy Kreifels, The Groundwater Foundation

A few weeks ago I was having lunch with some friends when the conversation turned to caring for elderly parents.  One of the big questions that came up was what to do with leftover or unused prescription medications.  Of course most of us have grown up in the era of flushing these unwanted items.  Having heard this was a bad idea for the environment, the question became then what do we do with these items to keep them out of the wrong hands.


April 27th is National Drug Take-Back Day.  Make plans to return unused drugs to this event taking place in communities all over the United States.  The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity for those who have accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.  To learn where sites are located in your area, visit 

Another opportunity to dispose of your non-controlled medications in Lincoln and Lancaster County, Nebraska is The Nebraska MEDS Disposal program.  The Groundwater Foundation has been working with several other Lincoln-based entities to address this issue locally.  Initially the MEDs (Medication Education for Disposal Strategies) Coalition worked to educate citizens of safer disposal methods and most recently has been able to initiate a pharmacy take-back program for non-controlled medications.  To learn more about the MEDS Disposal program, visit  

MEDs Coalition Partners include: Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, Nebraska Pharmacists Association, Nebraska Regional Poison Center, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Nebraska Health and Human Services, and others.   The MEDS project is funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

Please make sure that your unused medications are disposed of safely, for the sake of our children and the environment.




Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dear Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature,

As you well know, it's been a strange week for weather across much of the U.S. Here in Nebraska, you've given it all to us in the past week - blizzards, thunderstorms, ice, rain.  I don't know if you get online much, but your tomfoolerly with the weather has inspired some comical internet memes.

Nebraska Memes

It doesn't seem as if you can make up your mind as to what season it is.  A reminder -it is Spring.  We all like Spring, please bring it back.
I would like to sincerely thank you for the precipitation that came with the odd weather, as it has brough some much-needed moisture to many parts of the U.S.  Again, I don't know what kind of internet access you have, but the Drought Monitor map released April 4, 2013 by the National Drought Mitigaion Center showd 85% of Nebraska as being in the most severe stage of drought; the map released yesterday shows that reduced to just 15%!

Thank you! Yes, drought conditions have eased in America's "farm belt" but it's certainly not over by any means.  Mother Nature, please remember - Nebraska simply went from realy, really bad to just really bad on the drought scale, so additional moisture would be much appreciated.
While a week of good moisture can certainly make a difference, as you most certainly know, it's important that water managers and all of us continue to plan for a dry summer.  Denver and cities in Texas have already imposed mandatory water usage restrictions due to lower than average winter moisture levels, and I would guess that many others around the country will follow suite in the next several months.  The Climate Prediction Center's Drought Outlook, another one of the cool online tools we have, shows the persistence of drought in much of the West with some areas of improvement.
Most certainly, Mother Nature, it will take all of us continuing to work together to conserve water when we can and that the water we do use is used wisely and in the most efficient way possible.  I hope we're up for the challenge, including you.
Jennifer Wemhoff, Groundwater Foundation Program Manager, and Water Users Everywhere

New App Available for Environmental Education Week

by Cindy Kreifels, The Groundwater Foundation

We are in the midst of Environmental Education Week and I began to wonder how many of you are using The Groundwater Foundation’s new mobile app, Water1der (water wonder), to educate others about the environment.  It is available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod.

It’s fun!  It’s easy! It’s at your fingertips!  Just download Water1der from the Apple Store begin learning about water and groundwater.  

To learn more about groundwater and other environmental education activities, visit

Let us know what you think of Water1der.  Your comments and suggestions will help us to make it the best environmental education app out there.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ode to Groundwater

By Cathy Lotzer, Groundwater Foundation Board Member

What is groundwater,
and where is it found?
Why it’s water beneath,
our feet - underground.

Through soil, sand, and rock,
under the ground it moves.
Its home is called an aquifer,
with many fractures and grooves.

The aquifer is recharged
with rain and melted snow.
Depending on the type of soil,
it can happen fast or slow.

Groundwater comes to the surface,
on its own or through a pipe.
Naturally through springs, lakes, or streams,
or by drilling a well of some type.

The aquifer is very important,
and must be protected from above.
For pollutants can sink below the surface,
and destroy this water we love.

More than 50% of the United States,
requires groundwater each day.
We drink it and irrigate our crops,
it is a vital resource in every way.

So now the story has been told
and you know what you must do.
Please help protect our groundwater
for its future lies with you!