Many of us use water without thinking about it. We turn on the faucet, and water comes out. Farmers and those in the irrigation industry are far more conscious of water availability, and our colleagues at the Groundwater Foundation are hyper focused on all things related to groundwater. That isn’t unexpected; the Groundwater Foundation’s mission is to educate people and inspire action to ensure sustainable, clean groundwater for future generations.
Last week, the Groundwater Foundation National Conference united growers, irrigation manufacturers, scientists, engineers, public utility employees, national resource district representatives, lawmakers, policy makers and even Girl Scout leaders in a call to action on behalf of groundwater.
The key message from the conference: “Increased demand for groundwater for drinking water, agriculture and industry, along with ever-changing threats from contamination, puts groundwater at an important juncture - one that necessitates action by each and every one of us. The future is upon us, and action is needed to identify challenges and develop approaches and solutions to address them.”
An overwhelming amount of data presented during the conference outlined the problems, while speakers, workshops and tours provided suggestions for taking action to protect groundwater.
We’ll share more from the conference in the weeks to come, but today I wanted to pass along some tools that you can use right now to make a difference. So here are:
10 things you can do to protect and conserve groundwater
- Take short showers – 5 minutes or less.
- Shut off the water while you brush your teeth.
- Use native and drought-resistant plants in your home’s landscape to reduce water and chemical needs.
- Run only full loads in the dishwasher and clothes washer.
- Fix leaky faucets, showerheads and toilets.
- Install low-flow showerheads and toilets, and opt for water-efficient appliances such as dishwashers and clothes washers.
- Use, store and dispose of chemicals and unused medications properly.
- Pick up pet waste.
- Water your home’s lawn and landscape only when necessary, and during the early morning hours to reduce evaporation.
- Track your water use with the free 30 by 30 app and find out how much water you use in a day
You can also visit the Groundwater Foundation website for more tips.