Be Aware of Your Groundwater Source and Safety

March 11-17, 2012

Each of us can either protect or harm groundwater — our most abundant freshwater supply. The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) says the first step toward protecting groundwater is to become aware of how it can be contaminated. The second step is to do your part to avoid contaminating groundwater. A third, and equally important step, is to conserve groundwater. Because groundwater is hidden, the resource is often forgotten or misunderstood. Groundwater is vital to public health, the environment, and the economy.

Approximately 75 percent of community water systems and nearly all of rural America use groundwater-supplied water systems (U.S. EPA 2000). In many parts of the country, surface water supplies are inadequate or unavailable, and groundwater is the only practical source of water supply. Groundwater feeds streams and rivers, especially during periods of drought or low flow. Approximately 42 percent of agricultural irrigation water is groundwater (Hutson 2004). But the water shortages of recent drought years coupled with the increasing cases of surface water and groundwater contamination place us at a critical juncture regarding the availability of adequate water supplies.

Remember, you play a powerful part in safeguarding our community’s land, air and water resources. If you see anything happening that could harm these resources, report it to the WDNR Tip Line — 1-800-TIP-WDNR  (1-800-847-9367). Or you can also call the County Sherriff’s office at 920-388-3100. Thank you for your awareness and participation.

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