Monday, November 22, 2010

Clean, Safe Groundwater is a Blessing

It is that time of year again when each of us takes stock of the blessings in our lives. Each of us should count clean, ample groundwater among our many blessings.

Why is clean, ample groundwater a blessing? Well the fact that over 50 percent of Americans rely on groundwater for drinking water and that water is vital to life ought to make it a blessing. Or how about the fact that groundwater supplies much of the irrigation water used to water the crops that grow our food supply. Or that many of us depend upon groundwater to bathe ourselves, wash our dishes, and clean our homes. Each of these reasons make groundwater something we should all be thankful for and not take for granted.

Here at the Foundation we are also thankful for each of you who in some way help to protect groundwater each day. It may be that you are a member of the Groundwater Foundation to support our educational work. It may be that you are a part of a Groundwater Guardian team or are a Groundwater Guardian Green Site manager and you work towards groundwater protection every day. It may be that you are an educator that helps us spread the word about the importance of groundwater and what each of us can do to protect it. However you are involved in groundwater protection, we are thankful for your participation.

During this holiday season, help us continue our work by considering one or more of these actions:
  • If you are not a member of the Groundwater Foundation, become one now.
  • Sign up at and choose the Groundwater Foundation as your charity, and download the search toolbar to your computer. Then each time you search the internet, The Groundwater Foundation will earn money for its mission. 
  • Shop online through and a portion of each purchase will be directed towards the Groundwater Foundation. 
  • Keep protecting groundwater in your community each and every day!
Again, thanks for all you do to help protect groundwater! And, we wish you many blessings in the year ahead.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Connecting to our communities

Henry Ford said it best, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

I had the opportunity to attend and help lead an early morning coffee shop discussion during the first-ever summit of the Connecting Young Nebraskans (CYN) group in Grand Island a couple of weeks ago. CYN is a network of citizens under the age of 40 who live in rural Nebraska. The purpose of the network, through the University of Nebraska Rural Initiative, is to provide a forward looking organization for younger people to shape the future by sharing their knowledge, insights and desires while learning more about topics related to their personal, professional and civic growth.

The coffee shop discussion, that I helped lead with Alyssa Smola of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts and Jessica Kelling of ReTree Nebraska, was about natural resources. Much of the discussion, not surprisingly, centered on water issues in the state of Nebraska. There were people from all corners of the state taking part in the discussion and they all had a great appreciation of water and understood what a precious resource it is.

Many of the questions they had and statements they made centered on what they can do to help – they weren’t just talking about problems that were out there in their communities. They want to help! It is important these young Nebraskans receive the assistance and tools they will need to face issues in their communities and that’s where environmental groups can be there to help. That is what made it great to be around such a group as CYN as there was a sense of working together to help create a bridge to the future.

The breakout sessions then centered around personal, professional and civic development from managing stress to coordinating volunteers, tips and tools for running for office to managing professional connections online. They all led to potential for growth in each individual.

But like Henry Ford’s quote, coming together is just the beginning and the end result is how you make it sustainable. That is the challenge for CYN but I believe that they are up to it in regards to all issues facing Nebraska including water and specifically groundwater. From the local Natural Resource Districts to the University of Nebraska to The Groundwater Foundation, we can all work together for the future of all Nebraska communities.

-- Brian Reetz

For more information on the group visit:

For more information on what individuals and communities can do to protect groundwater visit: