Monday, March 30, 2015

Anniversary Story: "Eternal, Not Historical" by Jay Beaumont

"Eternal, Not Historical"
by Jay Beaumont, PE, Former Groundwater Foundation Board Member and Orange County, New York Groundwater Guardian

In October of 2002, Jennifer of the Groundwater Foundation staff called me to ask if I would give an invocation at the Awards Luncheon at the upcoming Groundwater Guardian Conference.  As I flew to the conference from New York, I didn’t have any ideas for my invocation.  On the plane I was reading Cradle to Cradle by William McDunough and Michael Braungart.  That is where I found the perfect story for my invocation.

“Kai Lee, a professor of environmental science at Williams College, tells an enlightening story about native peoples’ view of place.  In 1986 Lee was involved in plans for the long-term storage of radioactive wastes at the Hanford Reservation, a large site in
Jay Beaumont and Susan Seacrest at the 2000
Groundwater Foundation National Conference.
central Washington State, where the United States government had produced plutonium for nuclear weapons.  He spent a morning with scientists discussing how to make a waste site so that even in the distant future, people would not accidentally drill for water there or otherwise bring about harmful exposures and releases.  During a break he saw several members of the Yakima Indian Nation, whose traditional lands include much of the Hanford Reservation.  They had come there to talk with federal officials about another matter.  The Yakima were surprised -- even amused – at Kai’s concern over their descendents’ safety.  ‘Don’t worry,’ they assured him.  ‘We’ll tell them where it is.’  As Kai pointed out to us, ‘Their conception of themselves and their place was not historical, as mine was, but eternal.  This would always be their land.  They would warn others not to mess with the waste we’d left.’”

I shared that story in my invocation and added that the story and other conference speakers’ themes give the good guidance for our work to protect groundwater.

  • Make our conception of the earth and its resources eternal not historical.
  • Teach our children to be stewards of water.
  • Foster clean drinking water for all
  • Promote indoor plumbing for all
  • Practice watershed stewardship
  • Protect wellheads
  • Conserve water
  • Be sustainable

29 weeks until the 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration!

30th Anniversary Story Teller Sponsor
Marshfield Utilities

30th Anniversary Story Teller Supporter
National Ground Water Association

Monday, March 23, 2015

Anniversary Story: "Dedication, Adaptability, Innovation" by Susan Seacrest

Dedication, Adaptability, Innovation
by Susan Seacrest, Groundwater Foundation founder and President Emeritus

Three traditions come to mind as I reflect on the Groundwater Foundation’s 30 year history: dedication, adaptability, and innovation. 

Early on, with virtually no resources except the idea that citizens needed to learn more about the nature and value of groundwater, putting together everything was a challenge.  A wonderful young woman, Sandy Steele, volunteered typing services and even came to the hospital in 1986 so I could do some proof reading while holding the newborn Kelly Seacrest!

The dedicated Lori Davison volunteered her dining room for several years as a home for piles of documents and correspondence. Lori’s table and typewriter were indispensable as we developed early Foundation projects, including the literal cutting and pasting of the Foundation’s quarterly publication, The Aquifer. 

Lori’s dining room doubled as childcare center as her toddler and baby romped around with my toddler and baby while we tried to focus on the work at hand.  Happily, Lori continues to this day as the Foundation’s Data Manager.

Countless rounds of retyping gave way to an IPM Selectric with self correcting ribbon, followed by a DOS computer we never really understood very well. In the 1990s, email and Windows were begrudgingly adapted by this digitally and electronically challenged writer.

A salute is due to the amazing and talented Jane, Cindy, Jennifer, Doug and countless others who have brought smart phone apps, social media, and webinars to the Foundation’s growing audience.  Everyone associated with the Foundation as it rounds its 30th Anniversary deserve a salute for continuing the dedicated service, creative adaptations, and innovative programs that are hallmarks of the Groundwater Foundation’s history and future! 

30 Weeks Until the 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration!

Support for 30th Anniversary outreach provided by Marshfield Utilities. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Something special is coming!

Starting next week, and once a week leading up to the 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference October 20-22, 2015, we'll be sharing a story in celebration of our 30th anniversary. 

The stories will be those of our partners, constituents, and our own memories. As we celebrate the past 30 years of groundwater protection and education, we'll look to the future - it's just the beginning!

Stay tuned to the Groundwater Blog, our website, Facebook, and Twitter to keep up with the stories and the celebration.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Fix a Leak Week

By Jessica Wheeler, The Groundwater Foundation

Did you know that a leaky faucet dripping one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year?  That's a lot of water and money down the drain!  But don't worry, many leaks in the home can be taken care of with quick, easy fixes that will help keep your water bill down and conserve water.  Mark your calendars, March 16-20 is National Fix a Leak Week!

Here are a few quick tips for fixing leaks around your home:
  • Fix leaky faucets by replacing washers and gaskets
  • Use pipe tape and a wrench to fix a leaky showerhead
  • If you have a leaky toilet, check to see if the flapper needs replaced
  • If your garden hose is leaking at the spigot, replace the rubber hose washer

Check out the Environmental Protection Agency's website for more information on fixing leaks in your home!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Singing in the Shower

by Anthony Lowndes, The Groundwater Foundation

Water use in the bathroom accounts for a large percentage of our daily consumption. There are countless resources and recommendations on how to lower your bathroom water use. You should turn the water off when you’re brushing your teeth, let mellow if it’s yellow and of course, shorten your shower time.
But how do you go from taking a 20 minute shower to a 5 minute shower? This can be really difficult if you are like me and like the feel of a long hot shower. So I said to myself, what is an interesting way to incrementally shorten my showers so it doesn’t seem so daunting.
I took four of my favorite songs and made a playlist. I set up my phone, in a cup to amplify the sound, outside the shower and started the playlist before I turned the water on. Then every other shower, I took one of the songs off the playlist and made sure that I was out of the shower before the last one ended.
I am now down from 20 minutes to about 7 minutes per shower. I also made a couple more playlists for variety and different moods I want to be in, like going to bed and waking up.

Share what makes you sing in the shower in the comments or at our Facebook page, The Groundwater Foundation