By Sarah Hippensteel Hall, Ph.D., manager for watershed partnerships
Many of us never think twice about groundwater—where it comes from, how much there is, or how to protect it. We just turn on the spigot and water flows.
But maybe it’s time to think for a minute about this amazing resource that keeps us all alive, literally.
Think is the theme for this year’s National Groundwater Awareness Week (#GWAW), March 10-16. Groundwater Awareness Week is an annual observance highlighting responsible development, management, and use of groundwater. The Think theme urges each of us to consider ways we can protect this most valuable natural resource.
So Think about not running the water while you brush your teeth. Or Think about getting that leaking faucet fixed. Think about the farmers that rely on groundwater to grow the food you eat. And Think about having your well inspected to protect your drinking water system.
Here are few steps you can take to ensure your family’s health and protect our region’s groundwater:
- If you own a well, get your drinking water tested. Learn more about what tests to consider and where to get help.
- Find out if your community uses groundwater as its source of drinking water. If it does, encourage community officials to develop and implement a source water protection plan to ensure a safe drinking water supply.
- Support better land use planning that will protect water and maximize economic opportunity. MCD can help communities that want to integrate water protection into their land use plans, zoning code, and subdivision regulations.
Did you know?
- Approximately 132 million Americans rely on groundwater for drinking water.
- Groundwater is used for irrigation, livestock, manufacturing, mining, thermoelectric power, and several additional purposes, making it one of the most widely used and valuable natural resources we have.
- Americans use 79.6 billion gallons of groundwater each day. Groundwater in the Great Miami River Watershed supplied people with 6 billion gallons of water in 2016.
- Groundwater is 20 to 30 times larger than all U.S. lakes, streams, and rivers combined.
- 44 percent of the U.S. population depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply, including 2.3 million people in southwest Ohio.
- More than 13.2 million households have their own well, representing 34 million people.
As we approach National Groundwater Awareness Week, MCD is proud to have earned the distinction of “Groundwater Protector.” The award is presented to various groups for taking steps to conserve and protect groundwater.
MCD works to protect and improve the quantity and quality of water available to people living and working within the Great Miami River Watershed. Through research, educational programs, funding, and community events, MCD’s work on water stewardship issues provides citizens with the information they need to make safe, sustainable decisions regarding their water. MCD provides insight to elected officials and community leaders, inspiring stewardship at the local, regional, and national levels. Since 1915, the Miami Conservancy District has been committed to the protection, preservation, and promotion of water and water-related causes.
MCD participates in #GWAW to raise awareness of the critical importance of groundwater to healthy communities and a thriving economy.
Please visit bit.ly/MCDstateofthewater for more facts about our groundwater.
The National Ground Water Association encourages everyone to become official “groundwater protectors” by taking steps to conserve and protect the resource. Businesses, individuals, educators, students, federal agencies, cities, associations, and everyone in between can ask to be added to NGWA’s groundwater protector list through its website or on social media. Have an awesome story to tell? Send it to NGWA and they might highlight your efforts.