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National Groundwater Awareness Week starts Sunday

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National Groundwater Awareness Week starts Sunday

National Groundwater Awareness Week starts Sunday, so we are celebrating it March 5-11 this year. This is a great week to learn about and understand the importance of groundwater.

The National Ground Water Association put together some interesting facts about groundwater use:

  1.  In many nations, more than half of the groundwater withdrawn is for domestic water supplies and globally it provides 25% to 40% of the world's drinking water.
  2. About 60% of groundwater withdrawn worldwide is used for agriculture; the rest is almost equally divided between the domestic and industrial sectors.
  3. Globally, about 38% of irrigated lands are equipped for irrigation with groundwater.
  4. Groundwater is the world's most extracted raw material with withdrawal rates currently in the estimated range of 259 trillion gallons/year.
  5. The 79.3 billion gallons of groundwater a day used in the United States equals 1 billion, 586 million bathtubs full of water - enough to circle the Earth more than 60 times.

 We all intersect with groundwater somehow, so it's our job to help protect and conserve it. Here are a lot of tips from the National Ground Water Association on how to do that:

  1. Properly store hazardous household substances in secure containers.
  2. Mix hazardous household substances over concrete or asphalt where they can be cleaned up or absorbed.
  3. Dispose of hazardous household wastes at an appropriate waste disposal facility or drop-off.
  4. Do not put hazardous household wastes down the drain or in the toilet.
  5. Do not put any wastes down a dry or abandoned well.
  6. If I own a septic system, I will service it according to local health department recommendations.
  7. If I own a water well, I will get a yearly maintenance check to ensure sanitary seals are intact.
  8. Decommission abandoned wells on your property using a qualified water well contractor.
  9. Fix or replace any leaking aboveground or underground tanks storing hazardous substances.
  10. Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it.
  11. Repair dripping faucets and toilets; one drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons a year.
  12. Retrofit household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors.
  13. Choose appliances that are water- and/or energy-efficient, such as low-flow toilets.
  14. Don't run a faucet when I'm not using the water, such as while brushing my teeth.
  15. Only run the dishwasher when it is fully loaded.
  16. Operate clothes washers only when they are full, or set the water level to match the load size.
  17. Plant native and/or drought-resistant grasses, ground cover, shrubs, and trees.
  18. Use a shutoff nozzle on the hose for car washing that can be adjusted to a fine spray.
  19. Avoid overwatering my lawn; a heavy rain eliminates the need to water for up to two weeks.
  20. Raise the mower blade to a higher level to hold soil moisture and strengthen the root system.

Happy National Groundwater Awareness Week!

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