This year’s event focuses on developing the workforce needed to protect the vital resource
National Groundwater Awareness Week is an annual event in the United States that promotes sustainable groundwater management, as well as public awareness of groundwater issues.
The event, which has been held every third week in March since it was established by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) in 1999, promotes a national conversation among groundwater advocates, the public, policymakers, and industry about the importance of protecting and conserving groundwater resources.
According to the NGWA, the event is also a platform to encourage yearly water well testing and well maintenance, and to highlight local water issues.
Shortage of Professionals
The focus of the 2023 National Groundwater Awareness Week is on generating interest in working in the groundwater industry, an essential element of the nation’s economy and public health.
More than 44% of the population relies on groundwater as a primary source of water, but there is a critical shortage of professionals in the industry. The American Geosciences Institute has reported that in the U.S. there are currently more than 135,000 job vacancies in the groundwater industry, which means the industry is too understaffed to meet the demands of consumers.
Groundwater professionals, who draw upon a diverse range of skills, include:
- Well contractors.
- Suppliers and manufacturers of groundwater technology.
To address the shortfall, NGWA and Oklahoma State University are creating an online educational platform called Drilling Basics Online, which offers courses in groundwater drilling and geoscience to help industry hopefuls prepare for groundwater drilling exams.
How Can We Protect Groundwater?
On a large scale, groundwater can be protected by managed aquifer recharge programs, groundwater banking, and wastewater reuse. This can bring water tables up, preventing the many negative surface effects of groundwater depletion, such as ground subsidence and increased vulnerability to wildfires and floods.
On a more personal level, the NGWA promotes a number of ways to protect groundwater, the first being the use of native plants and grasses for landscaping, because they need less water and fertilizer.
Other ways to conserve groundwater include watering lawns and plants during the coolest parts of the day and only when necessary. A great deal of water can be saved by turning off the tap while brushing teeth or shaving, fixing leaks, limiting shower time, and running full loads in dishwashers and washing machines. Learning and teaching others about the importance of groundwater can also help protect and conserve this precious resource.
It’s also important to protect groundwater from contamination. Ways to help include using fewer chemicals around the house and yard, and properly disposing of them and other potentially toxic substances like motor oil and pharmaceuticals. Using natural cleaning products such as lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar is one effective, aquifer-friendly lifestyle change.
The Important Role of Wastewater Reuse
Seven Seas Water Group is an active participant in wastewater reuse. In central Texas, for instance, virtually all of the wastewater treated by Seven Seas’ plants is used to safely irrigate greenery along roadways. That represents a great deal of water that didn’t have to be pumped from aquifers.
Highly treated effluent also can be used to directly recharge aquifers. Wastewater treatment can be an important part of aquifer recharge programs, producing irrigation water, industrial process water, and even drinking water. And some programs are even using desalinated water for groundwater recharge.
Seven Seas is participating in National Groundwater Awareness Week by educating the public about ways to preserve this valuable resource. Water infrastructure can be costly, but our Water-as-a-Service® can bring water reuse and desalination to more people than possible before. Visit our Careers page to join us in helping to address water shortages.
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