Water Well Journal

July 2015

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/529509

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Page 7 of 83

Editor's NOTE T o fully understand the drought plaguing the West is to literally stand in it. I travelled to southeastern Utah earlier this year and heard the story of a flash flood five years earlier that had a river raging with such velocity giant boulders were "bouncing down the river and the sounds could be heard throughout the valley." The river is gone now. Well, most of it anyway. I stood in parts where it once raged. Now much of it is a carved-out dirt path—a sandbar without the sand. I tried to picture the boulders and stones around me bouncing. It was hard to do. To get there I drove by Lake Mead in Nevada. The day I passed it, news broke how one of the country's most popular recreational destinations is at historic lows. The lake is just 37% full. Researchers added the Colorado River, which supplies water to Lake Mead, could drop to a point in 2017 in which water allocations to users would be cut. The numbers were staggering—potential cuts equal to amounts of water used by 600,000 homes in Arizona and 26,000 homes in Nevada. It's no wonder the message of sustainability was in my face everywhere I turned. Signs at restaurants: We don't provide water when you arrive unless you ask. Signs in hotel rooms: We will not provide fresh sheets or towels unless you ask. Simple steps. But necessary ones. I recently attended a water festival near my home in the Midwest in which chil- dren were being taught the message of water sustainability. The event was by Lake Erie, which is not dealing with shrinking water levels but a problem all their own— toxic algal blooms. One instructor, who used sand tank models in his class to demonstrate ground- water withdrawals, said he had one goal when he arrived at the event: To teach chil- dren water is in the ground, it moves, we use it, and we need to take care of it. I think that's a message a few adults should learn too. So why don't you teach them? You're a water professional in your community, which also makes you a water authority in your community. As a groundwater con- tractor, explain 99% of all available freshwater comes from aquifers underground. Then ask them to do a few simple things too. Just picture what things would look like if everyone was doing the following? • Not pouring water down the drain when there is another use for it such as watering indoor plants • Repairing dripping faucets and toilets • Using water- and energy-efficient appliances • Not running faucets when brushing their teeth • Only running the dishwasher when it's fully loaded and using the light wash feature. • Storing drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap until the water is cool. It wouldn't mean I would have seen a raging river with bouncing boulders, but it sure would help the water supply for you and me. Thad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and director of information products at the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at tplumley@ngwa.org and on Twitter @WaterWellJournl. SEEING IS BELIEVING WITH DROUGHT The Water Well Journal (ISSN #0043-1443) is published monthly by the National Ground Water Association, 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081. Printed and mailed at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and additional mailing offices. Postal acceptance: Periodical (requester subscription circulation) postage paid at Westerville, Ohio, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Water Well Journal, 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081. Canada Post/ Publications Mail Agreement #40739533. Return address: 4960-2 Walker Rd., Windsor, ON N9A 6J3. Advancing the expertise of groundwater professionals and furthering groundwater awareness. Chief Executive Officer Kevin McCray, CAE kmccray@ngwa.org NGWA President Richard Thron, MGWC Director of Information Products/Editor Thad Plumley tplumley@ngwa.org Water Well Journal Editorial Review Board Art Becker, MGWC, CPG; Tom Christopherson; Dan Milan; Roger Renner, MGWC; John Schnieders, Ph.D., and Robert Sterrett, Ph.D. Senior Editor Mike Price mprice@ngwa.org Copyeditor Wayne Beatty wbeatty@ngwa.org Production and Design Janelle McClary jmcclary@ngwa.org Advertising Wanda Bloch wbloch@ngwa.org Vickie Crosby vcrosby@ngwa.org Shelby Fleck sfleck@ngwa.org Circulation Coordinator Carol Clark cclark@ngwa.org Contributing Writers Ed Butts, PE, CPI; Donald W. Gregory; William J. Lynott; Julie Hansen; Christine Reimer; Al Rickard, CAE; Ron Slee; Lana Straub; Jennifer Strawn; and Alexandra Walsh Editorial, Advertising, & Publishing Offices 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081 (800) 551-7379 Fax: (614) 898-7786 Selected content from Water Well Journal is indexed on Ground Water On-Line™ at www.NGWA.org/gwonline © Copyright 2015 by the National Ground Water Association. All rights reserved. An APEX award winner 13 consecutive years with 27 total awards, most in the groundwater industry. waterwelljournal.com 6 July 2015 WWJ

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