Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Waiting for Rain

By Warren Arganbright, Groundwater Foundation Board Member

Not long ago I was having a conversation about the lasting results of the drought of 2012.  I live in the Sandhills of Nebraska.  We ranch over the northernmost part of the aquifer. We were discussing when we thought the grass would be recovered enough to turn cattle in to pastures.  It looked like, unless something happened, we would have to wait to mid-June, and that depended on rain.  And then it started raining.  Not a lot, but enough.  That's the problem with water.  If mother nature doesn't cooperate, we don't have any.  Groundwater is the same, to some extent.  But with groundwater, we have more opportunity that just "waiting for rain".  We can't squander that opportunity.  Groundwater is, in the long term, a finite resource.  In the southern aquifer area (Ogallala Aquifer) recharge doesn't keep up with use.  And there is the issue.  Sustainability requires knowledge and science -- in a word, education. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Green Vacation Spot

By Jane Griffin, The Groundwater Foundation

Refreshing, inspiring.  Those words that come to mind as I reflect on…no, not groundwater, my recent trip to Minneapolis.  Why those words:

Refreshing: Minneapolis truly is a green city – especially if you visit in the summer.  It is full of vegetation and its public areas are beautifully kept with a clear desire to maintain and accentuate natural areas.

Inspiring: Minneapolis is inspiring because it is a thriving community that has dedicated itself to being a Greener Community.  A primary focus is on storm water protection.  Efforts include green roofs, tree planting; rain gardens and rain barrels (see http://www.minneapolismn.gov/publicworks/stormwater/green/index.htm) for more details about what the city does to make it to be an environmentally friendly community).  The efforts are clearly visible and make the community a pleasant and lively place to visit. 

And, by the way, there is something for everyone!  Nature lovers will enjoy the beautiful parks, trails and lakes; arts and humanity lovers will enjoy the museums (which house fantastic collections) and abundant theatrical events; history fans will get their share of information, sports fans can enjoy the many events…and of course shopping fans can literally shop until they drop. 

So, if you are able to make a trip to Minnesota remember to drink a glass of water…since 75% of the drinking water in the state comes from groundwater it is likely you are being refreshed and inspired by groundwater!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Groundwater Foundation New Community Outreach Specialist

My name is Heather Voorman, and I am the new Community Outreach Specialist for the Groundwater Foundation.  I will primarily be working on the Growing Groundwater Awareness in Nebraska program. 

Growing up in a small Missouri River town allowed me to appreciate the importance of protecting our water resources at a young age.  My hometown relies on water for everything from irrigation to tourism.  I became acutely aware of the pressures our water sources face when I worked as an Interpretive Park Ranger at the Gavins Point Project on the Missouri River.  Part of my duties as a Park Ranger included presenting programs to the public about the balancing of water resources on the river.  It is incredible how one river can provide irrigation, navigation, recreation, municipal water, and wildlife habitat.  My experience as a Park Ranger inspired me to pursue a career that would allow me to continue to educate and inform others about the immense importance of protecting our resources. 

Groundwater is just as vital and significant to our communities as a river.  Groundwater allows us to drink, grow our food, perform industrial processes, and support wildlife by recharging lakes, rivers, and wetlands.  I am so excited to start working with communities across Nebraska to spread awareness about the importance of protecting this great natural resource!

If your Nebraska community is interested in raising awareness about groundwater among its citizens, contact me at hvoorman@groundwater.org.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Groundwater and 4th of July??

by Lori Davison
The Groundwater Foundation

What does groundwater and 4th of July have in common?
The answer to that question is on the 4th of July holiday you find many people celebrating with their families out by the many lakes around the country.  Groundwater is part of the water cycle, moving very slowly underground to discharge points like springs, rivers, or lakes.  This makes groundwater and surface water connected!  And so groundwater and 4th of July festivities meet!

Have a fun and safe July 4th!