Friday, October 25, 2013

Groundwater Foundation Conference Huge Success!

By Cindy Kreifels, The Groundwater Foundation

The Groundwater Foundation held its national conference October 15-17 at Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida.  The site was beautiful (we highly recommend it to anyone considering a conference site), the weather welcoming, and the speakers quite informative. 

I want to thank all those who attended and participated.  This conference could not have been as successful if it hadn’t been for each of you.  I met a number of new people who I now will call friends and colleagues and was also able to renew friendships with those I may have known for years.  But the important thing is that each of you came in order to learn from each other, share experiences, and discuss potential solutions to ensure groundwater sustainability for years to come.
I know I learned a lot.  What did you learn?

The proceedings from the conference will be posted on our website sometime next week – check back at to check out all that happened at the conference.

Until the next conference, keep up the great work that is happening all across the country!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Saving Water and Your Sprinkler System!

By Heather Voorman, Groundwater Foundation Community Outreach Specialist

As we saw from the drastic weather change this weekend, we are in the heart of the fall season. Fall’s cooler temperatures mean it’s time to adjust your automatic sprinklers to accommodate the changing weather.  Readjustment can protect your automatic sprinkler system and save water!
When the temperature cools, there is less evaporation.  This means that our lawns are going to need less water in the fall than they do in the summer months.  You can adjust your sprinkler clock to water one day less each week to prevent overwatering.
You will also need to change the time of day your automatic sprinkler waters.  We usually water early in the morning during the summer to prevent evaporation, but fall mornings can mean very cool temperatures.  These cooler temperatures can freeze the water on the plants, causing damage to your plants and your sprinkler system. 
This is also the time to start thinking about when you are going to blow out your sprinklers.  You cannot just drain out the above ground parts for the winter.  If you do not get all the water out of the pipes, it could ruin your entire system. 
If you want to save water all year long through your automatic sprinkler system, below are some tips you can use to be as efficient as possible.

  • Think about landscaping with native or drought tolerant trees, plants, and grass. Check with your local nursery to get more information about what would work best with your climate.
  •  Adjust the sprinklers so that you are only watering your lawn and not your house, sidewalk, or street.
  •  If your sprinkler clock has a rain pause button, use it to postpone your watering for a day or more.  Other clocks will allow you to shut the entire system off when it’s raining.
  • Some sprinkler clocks have an option to increase or decrease watering by a percentage.  Use this feature to reduce or increase watering based on changes in the weather. 
  • Consider installing a rain shut-off device on your sprinkler system to eliminate overwatering. 
  • Finally, water smart.  Be sure you pay attention to what time of day, how much, and how often you are watering.  Check on these settings several times a year to make sure you are watering based on the weather conditions. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Government Shutdown Challenging

By Cindy Kreifels, Groundwater Foundation Executive Vice President
This week has been more than a little crazy with the Foundation’s National Conference just a little more than a week away.  The many details are mounting and all of the materials needed to be shipped to the hotel this week.   And, then to top it all off, the government shuts down. 

I have read numerous articles about how this shutdown is impacting different groups of people.  I guess we are just one more casualty.  Okay casualty may be too strong of word.  But the shutdown is definitely impacting the conference as well.  So far I have one speaker who cannot make it (unless the government reopens prior to the conference) and another speaker whose Visa may or may not have been processed prior to the shutdown.  Therefore, we must plan for ways to fill those openings just in case.  So among all the normal challenges of pulling together a conference, the government shutdown has added new challenges.  No, they are not insurmountable, and surely not as problematic as many others that have come up, but just one more thing to tackle.

Enough said - my final thought is this; let’s make it a great conference with or without an active government.  There is still time for you to come to the conference.  Register online at  We’d love to see you there!!