Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Protection, groundwater needs. On Earth, it is.

By: Anthony Lowndes, The Groundwater Foundation

There has been a lot of talk about the water on celestial bodies over the last year. Saturn’s moon Titan is dotted with mysterious lakes and Enceladus vents water vapor and ice from a subsurface ocean. Oh, don’t forget that salt water running down the slopes of our neighbor, Mars. While it is undoubtedly exciting to find water elsewhere in our galaxy, we are humans, on Earth. I don’t mean to squelch these discoveries and the journeys we will take because of them, I only wish to point out that our “Blue Marble” is about 71% covered in water.

Image credit: Apollo 11 Astronauts
There are 2,551,000 mi3 of fresh water on or below the surface of the Earth.[1] Space is vast and seemingly unlimited unlike our supply of fresh water. People across the country and around the world are beginning to find this out the hard way. Much like balancing the light and dark sides of The Force (can you tell I saw the new Star Wars movie?), it is difficult to balance the supply and demand for water. The good news is there are people and communities working toward a balance in this force, the force of water. Many of those communities are Groundwater Guardians. Working globally and acting locally for the betterment of water supplies is what the Groundwater Guardian program is all about. 

The community-based approach to groundwater protection works, and it is something that you, here on Earth, can get involved with. Check the Groundwater Guardian directory to find a Groundwater Guardian community near you. If there aren’t any near you, be your own force and get one started.

May the force be with you.

[1] United States Geologic Survey. “How much water is there on, in, and above the Earth?” http://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html

Thursday, December 17, 2015


by Lori Davison, The Groundwater Foundation
As we prepare for the New Year, remember the many important days we can celebrate to help protect the Earth and its water resources.  Here is a list of a few “green” holidays to celebrate in 2016!  Mark your calendars!  
·         World Wetlands Day – February 2 (also Groundhog Day!)
·         National Groundwater Week – March 6-12
·         World Sparrow Day – March 20
·         World Water Day – March 22
·         Earth Day – April 22
·         Arbor Day –April 29
·         National Drinking Water Week – May 1-7
·         Bike to Work Day – May 20
·         World Environment Day – June 5
·         World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought – June 17
·         Water Quality Month (August)
·         Protect Your Groundwater Day – September 8
·         National Wildlife Day – September 4
·         International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer – September 16
·         Zero Emissions Day – September 21
·         World Rivers Day – September 25
·         International Day of Climate Action – October 24

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Groundwater Education Can Happen Anywhere

By Cindy Kreifels, The Groundwater Foundation

Last night I went to a holiday party where I knew very few of the guests.  And, like many events where I am introduced to new people, the question of where I work or what I do came up repeatedly. “Groundwater Foundation?” they say with a bewildered look on their face.  As I explain that we educate people about groundwater and invite people to get involved in its protection, I get yet another bewildered look, until I explain that groundwater is the water we drink and the water that grows our food, then the light bulb begins to come on.

It still amazes me that there are many people who still know very little about groundwater.  Obviously, the work of educating people about this resource that is so vital to our survival on this planet is not done.  So for all of you who have dedicated time to educating an individual, a group of school children, or a civic club – thank you!  The more people who understand groundwater and its role in our lives, the more people who will be able to take action on its behalf.

So while sometimes I may feel out of place at certain events when I don't know anyone, I have to remember that it is really just another great opportunity to educate someone, even if only a little bit, about groundwater. I hope that each of you will take moments like these to educate just one more person about our precious groundwater.

Have you had a moment like this?  What approach did you use to get people excited about groundwater?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish

By Jessica Wheeler, The Groundwater Foundation

Do you work with youth?  Is education your thing?  Although created with Girl Scouts in mind, the Water-Wise Wednesday blog features Frannie, The Groundwater Foundation's Girl Scout patch program's mascot, sharing fun, hands-on activities that can be utilized by anyone involved with youth education!  Check out this week's blog post below and tune in every Wednesday for more activities at groundh2o.blogspot.com!


It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {Ways to Protect and Conserve Groundwater - Reduce Chemical Use}

For the next ten weeks Frannie will be sharing The Groundwater Foundation's Top 10 List of Ways to Protect and Conserve Groundwater at home!  Each week will feature a step you can teach your troop to share with their families to become groundwater stewards!  The first week in this series is about reducing your chemical use.

In most homes you can find many chemicals, used for cleaning or taking care of the lawn.  Most of these chemicals are removed from water by waste treatment facilities before the water is returned to rivers, streams, and lakes, but certain chemicals found in cleaners and other household chemicals - like ammonia, phosphorus, and nitrogen - are not removed by the treatment process.  That means when cleaning products are rinsed down the drain or flushed down the toilet, they are getting into our surface water and affecting fish like Frannie!

Many of these products can be replaced with simple, environmentally-friendly options that you can buy in the store or make yourself!  Follow this easy recipe with Frannie to make your own cleaners!

Here's what you'll need:
  • A spray bottle for each Girl Scout
  • Funnel
  • Large stickers
  • Decorative stickers
  • Small measuring cups
  • Water 
  • Vinegar
  • Dish Soap
  • Baking Soda
  • Optional - essential oil (orange and lemon are great for cleaners!)

Here's what you do:

1.   Have the Girl Scouts write the following recipe and directions on their sticker for future use:
     - 1 teaspoon baking soda
     - 1/2 teaspoon dish soap
     - 2 tablespoons vinegar
     Shake well!

2.  Allow the girls to decorate their bottles with stickers.

3.  Use the funnel to add the baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar to your spray bottle.  Shake the ingredients in the bottle. 

4.  Let it sit for a minute and fill the bottle with warm water and shake it up.

5Optional - add one to two drops of essential oil to the spray bottle mixture to give it a more pleasant scent.

6.  Replace the cap, shake, and enjoy!

Share pictures of your Girl Scouts creating their own environmentally-friendly cleaners!


Tune in weekly for fun activities with Frannie at groundh2o.blogspot.com!  Click here to learn more about The Groundwater Foundation's Girl Scout patch program.