Friday, March 22, 2019

BLOG: World Water Day 2019

With 1 in 9 people lacking access to safe water, World Water Day 2019 emphasizes the importance of delivering clean, safe water across the globe. What are some of the critical reasons for the lack of access to fresh water globally? What's the importance of a safe water supply? Check out the infographic below from Waterlogic.


Waterlogic provides office a variety of point-of-use water purification and dispensers for businesses.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of The Groundwater Foundation, its board of directors, or individual members.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

It's Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish! {World Water Day 2019}

World Water Day is celebrated annually on March 22nd.  Water is essential to life and our society.  It quenches our thirst, grows our food, and even provides social and economic opportunities.

According to the United Nations, there are over 662 million people in the world today who live with little to no access to clean, safe water. By 2050, it’s predicted that 1 in 5 developing nations will face water shortage.  That’s why it’s so important to take this day to learn about water in the world. The theme of this year’s World Water Day is “Water for All”.

Whoever you are, water is a human right. Over 2 billion people in the world live without clean water in their homes. One in four primary or elementary schools worldwide don't have a drinking water system or service and students must use unprotected sources or face going thirsty.

Frannie talked with her family and friends about why access to safe, clean drinking water is important. Overwhelmingly, it's rural and agricultural communities that have to travel great distances to get water or pay to have pipes installed to get clean water from miles away. Many people with disabilities also face difficulty in accessing clean water.  Frannie took her Girl Scout friends on a trip down a nearby stream recently and they discovered easily water can become contaminated and unsafe to drink. Frannie's community has a very good water treatment system to clean up drinking water, but other areas aren't as lucky!

You can check out The Groundwater Foundation's website or Frannie's previous posts for fun ideas of ways you can protect and conserve groundwater for all.

World Water Day emphasizes the importance of water to every one of us.  Water is one shared resource.  We must all do our part to ensure the world's freshwater is taken care, used wisely, and is available to all of us!  Share how you will help protect water resources and be sure to tell your family and friends about protecting and conserving water every day!

Monday, March 11, 2019

BLOG: 10 Cool Things About Groundwater

by Jennifer Wemhoff, Groundwater Foundation

Groundwater is a unique resource, in that we can't see it. In honor of this week's National Groundwater Awareness Week, here are 10 cool things about groundwater.

  • Groundwater is the water that fills the cracks and crevices  in beds of rocks and sand beneath the earth's surface. Groundwater is recharged when water soaks into the soil from rain or other precipitation and moves downward. Groundwater is generally considered a renewable resource, although renewal rates vary greatly from place to place according to environmental conditions.
  • The aquifer in the U.S. is the Ogallala, underlying 250,000 square miles under eight states (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico). Scientists guess that it could take 6000 years to naturally refill the aquifer if it were ever fully depleted.
  • There's a lot more groundwater on Earth than surface water, to the tune of 20 to 30 times more than all U.S. lakes, streams, and rivers - combined!
  • There's a lot of water on Earth, but only 1 percent of it is useable; 99 percent of that is groundwater!
  • Groundwater provides much of the flow of many streams. The USGS estimates that about 30 percent of U.S. streamflow is from groundwater (although it is higher in some locations and less in others).
  • The United States uses nearly 80 billion gallons per day of fresh groundwater for public supply, private supply, irrigation, livestock, manufacturing, mining, thermoelectric power, and other purposes.
  • The temperature of shallow groundwater in the U.S. ranges from 44°F in north central areas to approximately 80°F in Florida and southern Texas.
  • Groundwater is an important part of the hydrologic cycle. When precipitation hits the ground, it can take many paths. It can be absorbed by plants; stored on the surface in a lake, river, stream, or ocean; evaporated due to the sun's energy; absorbed into the soil temporarily; or pulled by gravity through the soil to be stored for years as groundwater.
  • India has the most water wells in the world, with 21 to 25 million wells. The U.S. is second with 15.9 million wells and China has 3.4 million.
  • Irrigation accounts for the largest use of groundwater in the U.S. Over 53 billion gallons of groundwater are used daily for agricultural irrigation from 407,923 wells to help feed the world.

Groundwater is truly amazing, and needs our protection. Get started today!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

It's Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish! {Groundwater on Mars}

Groundwater is everywhere! Last month, scientists used a trio of instruments -  the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) aboard the ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, NASA's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), and the Context Camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – to explore several craters in Mars’ northern hemisphere.

Scientists had long predicted that early Mars was covered in water. As the climate changed, the water was suspected to have seeped underground to become groundwater.

The pictures that were taken of the craters showed features suggesting that there used to pools of water that flowed and receded over time, marking the first geological evidence of a planet-wide groundwater system.

Scientists were even able to estimate water levels from the past and showed that they matched up with the predicted shorelines of an ocean that many believe used to exist on Mars around 3.5 billion years ago.  The ocean and system of underground lakes were previously only predicted through advanced computer models.

Since water is an important indicator of life, this finding could help researchers find locations on Mars that most likely would contain evidence extraterrestrial life.

Frannie is very excited to follow this story as it develops and hopes you’ll join her explore more water in space.

Monday, March 4, 2019

BLOG: Next Week is National Groundwater Awareness Week!

by Jennifer Wemhoff, Groundwater Foundation

Next week marks the 20th anniversary of National Groundwater Awareness Week (GWAW) - March 10-16, 2019.

Sponsored by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), GWAW is recognized annually to highlight the responsible development, management, and use of groundwater. The week is also a platform to encourage yearly water well testing and well maintenance.

The 2019 theme of "Think" urges each of us to consider various ways we can protect our most valuable natural resource. So Think about not running the water while you brush your teeth. Or
Think about getting that leaking faucet fixed. Think about the farmers that rely on groundwater to grow the food we eat. And Think about having your well inspected to protect your drinking water
system. In short, during #GWAW, Think about our future.

I asked Groundwater Foundation Executive Director Jane Griffin to weigh on why GWAW is something to be celebrated. “Groundwater is important to so many parts of our daily lives - it’s the
water we drink, grows our food, and nourishes our communities. I hope everyone will truly Think
about the impact groundwater has on your life everyday, what it would look like without groundwater, and what you can do to protect it.”

Now and during GWAW, NGWA and the Groundwater Foundation encourage everyone to become
official “groundwater protectors” by taking steps to conserve and protect the resource. Businesses, individuals, educators, students, federal agencies, cities, associations, and everyone in between can ask to be added to NGWA’s groundwater protector list through its website or on social media.

Take it a step further and get something going in your community - organize a Groundwater Guardian
team to tackle local issues, help a local business or green space become a Green Site by documenting site maintenance practices related to water, do a fun activity with students to help them understand groundwater, or help do all these things by becoming a member of the Groundwater Foundation.

On NGWA’s GWAW website, you can find a toolkit with downloadable and shareable materials to spread the word, including:

  • Suggested social media posts (just copy and share!)
  • List of facts about groundwater
  • Logos and graphics including email header, social media images, printable groundwater protector icon, and more 
  • Press release to share with local media or government officials

You can also find resources on the Groundwater Foundation’s website to help you:

Now’s the time to Think about groundwater and act to protect it now and for future generations!