Thursday, February 27, 2014

Free Toolkit Offers Step-by-Step Guide for Partnering with Conservation Districts

The Source Water Collaborative (SWC) recently announced a new online toolkit to facilitate partnerships to protect drinking water sources through agriculture conservation practices, stormwater and forest management. The Groundwater Foundation is a member of the Collaborative.
The toolkit offers effective steps source water protection professionals working at the local or state level can take to build partnerships with conservation district staff. The toolkit is designed for a variety of audiences – from those who have never worked with their conservation district, to those who have attempted but without success, to those who would like to enhance their current efforts.
Vetted by the SWC’s National Association of Conservation District, the toolkit offers key information to help understand what conservation districts do, how they are structured, their funding sources and partners; easy connection to the right contacts in your area; preparation tips and suggested meeting approaches to be more successful in collaborating with the conservation district; success stories from peers who worked with conservation districts to protect drinking water; tips for getting involved in the state technical committee meeting; and useful information for a variety of audiences – from those who have never worked with their conservation district, to those who have attempted, but have not had success.
“The nature of the challenge we collectively face, in seeking to protect sources of drinking water, is that none of us can do it alone. We must work collaboratively with an array of partners,” said Jim Taft, SWC Steering Committee Co-Chair and ASDWA Executive Director. “One of our most valued partners, in this endeavor, is the National Association of Conservation Districts. Through their extensive reach and breadth at the state and county levels, NACD members make tangible, positive impacts  on water resources generally, and on sources of drinking water, in particular. This online tool is designed to make it easy and convenient to understand where, when and how to interact with our NACD partners in collaborative efforts designed to protect drinking water sources.”

Kate Keppen, Watershed Coordinator for the Berks County, Pennsylvania Conservation District says, “The Berks County Conservation District believes that working together with other stakeholders that have similar goals is one of the ideal ways to protect drinking water resources. Working together is proven to better achieve common goals and be more efficient in both time and money. Thus, by working with the Schuylkill Action Network, which connects multi-leveled government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and private businesses, I feel that our Conservation District has been able to more effectively achieve our mission to protect soil and water resources for future generations. The SWC’s online tool makes it easier to identify those other organizations that may have similar goals.”

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Water Sustainability

By Jane Griffin, The Groundwater Foundation

Water Sustainability…
…a critical issue for communities across the world– especially in a state like Nebraska where a large portion of our state’s economy depends on a sustainable supply of water.  Nebraska lawmakers are now wrangling with the issue and will be deciding whether or not to allocate $50,000,000 annually towards water projects.   It has been demonstrated over and over again that being proactive is definitely the right thing to do.  But, we cannot rely solely on what our lawmakers decide to do.  We all need to be a part of the solution.   So let’s get started today; for those of you in Nebraska find out more about the proposed legislation.

And, for everyone: check out some options on our website.

Or, if you have other ideas or efforts that help save or protect our water please share them with us by commenting on this blog!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day from the Groundwater Foundation!

On this special day we wanted to take the time to thank you, our donors, supporters, and volunteers for everything you do. We wouldn't be around without your support, and we are so thankful for you! Happy Valentine's Day!

To celebrate the day, we thought we would share a few fun Valentine's facts:

That's a lot of cards, roses, and chocolate! But what does that mean for groundwater?
That's a lot of water to produce our favorite love-day gifts! Maybe you are wondering how you can choose groundwater-friendly options this Valentine's Day. Here are some ideas we came up with, let us know if you have more!
  • Send an E-Card in place of a paper version.
  • If E-Cards just aren't your thing, give a card made from recycled materials.
  • Give native flowers. Flowers native to your region take less water to grow and are often more affordable as they don't require importation.
  • Buy local, non-processed food items to help reduce your water footprint. Think local candy stores, fruit producers, etc.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Let the Games Begin!

By Lori Davison, The Groundwater Foundation

The 2014 Winter Olympic Games are scheduled to begin with the opening ceremonies on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  Olympic planners were concerned by how little winter snowpack collected in Sochi last year.  To prepare for this year’s games, the Olympic committee set up snowbanks in Sochi to preserve last year’s snow.  After the snowfall in 2013, roughly 28 million cubic feet of natural and artificial snow was moved into massive piles and covered with reflective and thick blankets to reduce melting.  If there is not enough snowfall for all of the outdoor events, workers will be able to produce more artificial snow from the 446 snow guns positioned along the ski runs, and withdraw from the snowbank.  
Olympic Fun Facts:

How much water is used to build an Olympic ice skating rink and how does it compare to domestic water use?

An ice hockey rink needs between 12,000-15,000 gallons of water to create the ice surface before maintenance over the Olympic festivities.  In the United States, the average person used 54-190 gallons of water per day depending on where they live.

Where was the idea of an Olympic Flame burning from the start of the games to the closing first introduced ?

At the 1928 Amsterdam games.

What country has hosted the Winter Olympics more than any other?

The United States has hosted the Winter Olympics four times; 1932 in Lake Placid, 1960 in Squaw Valley, 1980 in Lake Placid, and 2000 in Salt Lake City.

Where will the next Winter Olympics take place?

In 2018, the winter games will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. (The next Summer Olympics will take place in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in 2016).