Shill alert!

It’s that time of the year again -National Groundwater Awareness Week is upon us, just about two weeks before World Water Day (22 March).

This event was created by the National Ground Water Association (here is a list of promotional partners, which includes AWRA), an organization to which I belong (c. 40 years) and on whose board I once served.

But that is not why I support a week devoted to raising the public’s awareness of groundwater. It is simply the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ conundrum: if I can’t see it then I don’t care about it. I’ll use too much of it, or I won’t consider using it; I won’t value it, and I’ll pollute it – all because I cannot see it.

I’ve been amazed at how many people who should know better really don’t know about or understand groundwater. Heard of thewater budget myth?

To decision-makers and policy-makers groundwater will not be on their radar screens because their consultants and they know too little about it. Besides, groundwater won’t result in a ‘sexy’ water project with huge dams, reservoirs, pipelines, canals, and all sorts of things that can be bragged about and shown off to others. And so it goes.

Few people realize how abundant it is – it is about 95% of all liquid freshwater. Only glaciers and the polar ice caps contain more freshwater (click to enlarge):

Earth-water-distribution

Interested in groundwater stewardship and protection? Visit this site.

Are you a well owner? Visit this site.

Want more facts about groundwater? Try this site.

And here is information from the best source: the U.S. Geological Survey.

So enjoy groundwater, value it, protect it, and learn about it!

And please, please, don’t use terms like ‘underground aquifers’ (yes, aquifers are underground, except at their outcrops or where they discharge at springs) or ‘groundwater aquifers’ (all aquifers contain groundwater, but not all groundwater occurs in aquifers). Show that you are a member of the groundwater glitterati!

And hug a hydrogeologist!

“I would be celebrating National Groundwater Awareness Week with you all but I am unavailable at the moment.” – Ben Franklin


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