Guard Your Groundwater

March 5-11, 2017 is National Groundwater Awareness Week.

When rain falls, some of the water ends up in lakes and rivers, some is used by plants, some evaporates back into the atmosphere, and some seeps through the ground into aquifers – large, natural underground water storage areas. This groundwater provides about 44% of the US population with drinking water; in rural areas, it provides about 96% of drinking water. Not only does groundwater quench our thirst, but it is also important in protecting water quality and quantity in surface rivers and streams – groundwater adds 492 billion gallons of water per day to these surface waters!

One of the easiest ways to protect groundwater supplies is to save water at home. The average US household uses more water outdoors than most American homes use for showering and washing clothes combined. When the ground starts thawing and your thoughts turn to spring gardening, why not start plotting a water-smart landscape? The WaterSense Water Budget Tool uses your zip code and yard size to help you plan a landscape that will use an appropriate amount of water for your climate. Make plans to put the right plant in the right place for a beautiful, water-saving garden.

Sources:

  • McCray, Kevin. 2015. "Groundwater: Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind." Accessed March 6, 2016. http://www.ngwa.org/Events-Education/awareness/Pages/Editorial.aspx
  • National Groundwater Association. 2016. "National Groundwater Awareness Week." Accessed March 6. http://www.ngwa.org/events-education/awareness/pages/default.aspx
  • US EPA. 2016. "The WaterSense Water Budget Tool." Accessed March 6. http://www.epa.gov/watersense/water_budget/index.html
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