Monday, June 30, 2014

4th of July and the Environment

By Lori Davison, The Groundwater Foundation
July 4th is almost here!  What is the first thing that you think of when you hear July 4th?  Some of your answers may include:  celebrating the independence of our country, day off from work, great food with family and friends, and FIREWORKS!
Fireworks are always a big hit on the 4th of July, but have you ever thought of the environmental impacts?  Debris from fireworks launched off an ocean, river, or lake coast can impact water quality or litter sensitive habitat areas if not properly cleaned up following the show.  Water quality monitoring reports following fireworks displays have documented elevated levels of water pollutants such as arsenic, copper and phosphorous.

As you celebrate this year keep these things in mind and have a safe 4th of July!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Water: An Important Resource for All Time

By Cindy Kreifels, The Groundwater Foundation

Water is one thing we cannot live without.  It is vital to our very existence. And, people have been writing and talking about it for all time.

“Filthy water cannot be washed.” -  West African Proverb

When you drink the water, remember the spring.”  - Chinese Proverb

”The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.” – American Indian Saying

”A waster of water is a waster of better.” – Old Irish Adage

“You could not step twice into the same rivers; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.” – Heraclitus of Ephesus (535 B.C. – 475 B.C.)

“The noblest of the elements is water.” – Pindar (476 B.C.)

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519)

“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” – Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

“The wise man of Miletus thus declared the first of things is water.” – J.S. Blackie (1877)

“Water is the only drink for a wise man.” – Henry David Thoreau (1917-1962)

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.” – Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997)

“Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes – one for peace and one for science.” – John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

“Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water.  Don’t sit this one out.  Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.”  -- Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

“If you could tomorrow morning make water clean in the world, you would have done, in one fell swoop, the best thing you could have done for improving human health by improving environmental quality.” – William C. Clark (1988)

“All the water that will ever be is, right now.” – National Geographic (1993)

“Water, like religion and ideology, has the power to move millions of people. Since the very birth of human civilization, people have moved to settle close to it.  People move when there is too little of it.  People move when there is too much of it.  People journey down it.  People write, sing and dance about it. People fight over it. And all people, everywhere and every day, need it.” --  Mikhail Gorbachev (2000)

“Water is the lifeblood of our bodies, our economy, our nation and our well-being.” – Stephen Johnson (2007)

“Water is personal, water is local, water is regional, water is statewide.  Everybody has a different idea, a different approach, a different issue, a different concern.  Water is the most personal issue we have…” – Susan Marks (2009)

“It is because of people that we protect groundwater, but it is only through people that we can do so!” – The Groundwater Foundation

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Water Smart This Summer!

We are only days away from the official start of summer which means you have probably been spending lots of time in your yard and garden making everything look healthy and green. It is difficult to keep up this manicured look in times of drought, however. Here are some tips to help you keep your garden green during the hot, dry summer months. 

1. Water at night or early in the morning. Watering when the sun is barely out can reduce evaporation by 30% or more, depending on where you live. This means more water will actually get used by your plants. 

2. Avoid watering when it's windy. Strong winds can evaporate water or blow it away from the plants you are trying to water. 
3. Don't over water. An established lawn only needs a little less than one inch of water per week to stay healthy. Over watering can cause pesticides and fertilizers to runoff into water bodies and of course wastes water resources. Also be sure not to water when you're already getting a lot of rain. Many sprinklers have a rain pause button that will allow you to postpone your watering for a day or more. Other clocks will allow you to shut the entire system off when it's raining. 
4. Plant native vegetation. Native Plants thrive in the local climate and therefore usually need less water to stay healthy. 
Photo Credit: The Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter

5. Use rain barrels. Rain barrels allow you to capture the naturally occurring rain and store it for use in your yard. You can hook many systems right up to your sprinklers! Visit to learn how to make your own rain barrel. 
Photo Credit: City of Lincoln Watershed Management Division. Rain Barrel painted by: Heather Bennett, professional fiber artist and City of Lincoln graphic artist. 
6. Finally, don't water the pavement. You can waste a lot of water by not having your sprinkler heads set up properly. Make sure your sprinkler heads and hoses put water only where it's really needed.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Let's Make A Splash!

By Cindy Kreifels, The Groundwater Foundation

Come see The Groundwater Foundation in action at the 2014 Waterfest at Holmes Lake Park in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday, June 7 from 5 – 8 p.m.  Guests will learn about our most valuable resource – water.  The City of Lincoln in connection with several partners will hold the 5th Biennial Waterfest to help guests learn about what they can do to reduce pollutants in local streams and lakes.

Attend Waterfest 2014 and receive a water passport, which you will get marked at each booth.  Attend at least 10 stations to be eligible to win a free gift.  Free food and sodas will be available.  The fun will include educational hands on exhibits, a performance by the String Beans, canoe rides, fishing and other water activities.

Come join us for the FUN!  We’d love to see you there.

To learn more:

Sponsors of Waterfest 2014 include: