Groups Urge Water Consciousness

Conserving water and preventing contamination of the water table are on the forefront of a push by state and federal groups who support National Protect Your Groundwater Day on Sept. 11.

The North Dakota Well Drillers Association is standing along side the National Ground Water Association’s public call to action to protect one of the most vital resources available. The groups want people to acknowledge issues with water, how those issues apply to everyone.

In the wake of a severe drought that has led to wildfires and burning bans, and decimated croplands and agricultural disaster declarations, Cliff Treyens, NGWA Public Awareness Director, said in a release that using water wisely is important to everyone, regardless of where they live.

“Drought simply underscores that groundwater is a finite resource worth protecting,” he said.

The NGWA says the drought continues to affect western, central and southeastern states in the U.S. and has put a strain on many household water wells.

Treyens also said water contamination prevention and conservation can begin at home to help protect what’s left.

“There are many hazardous substances around households from oil and gas, and paint and paint thinners to cleaning products and yard products such as fertilizers, pesticides, and weed killers,” he said. “How people store, use and dispose of these substances can either protect groundwater or harm it.”

Approximately 29 billion gallons of water a day are used in the U.S. To reduce water waste, the Environmental Protection Agency urges American home owners to fix any water leak in their house, be it a running toilet, dripping faucet or leaky pipe. In the bathroom, the EPA asks people to turn off the water while shaving or brushing teeth and notes that quick showers use less water than baths.

The EPA also provides tips for the kitchen, including using a fully-loaded dishwasher as opposed to washing dishes by hand, plugging the sink or using a wash basin if no dishwasher is available, scrape a plate clean rather than rinsing it and keep a pitcher of drinking water in the fridge rather than letting the faucet run until the water is cold enough. Also, thaw food overnight in the refrigerator instead of running it under hot tap water, and start a compost pile instead of relying on the garbage disposal.