Water Well Journal

August 2015

Water Well Journal

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Page 11 of 71

Guest EDITORIAL W e all volunteer a portion of our time and resources in one way or another. Whether it is serving as the President of the National Ground Water Association or buying a box of Girl Scout cookies outside the local store, we all help. We do it for many reasons, often because it just feels like the right thing to do. My volunteer career started in 1974, when I had no choice but to assist my mother in raising funds for the Sudbury (Vermont) bicentennial committee to rebuild the town hall and congregational church. With expanding interests, I later served several other community volunteer positions, including the local school board—and believe it or not, had a stint as a justice of the peace. Early in my professional career while muzzleloader hunt- ing in Vermont, I was elected as secretary of the Vermont Ground Water Association (which was called the Vermont Water Well Association at the time). The lesson? Don't let friends go to meetings without you. Thanks a lot Jerry! All kidding aside, the positions I hold today with the VGWA are educational director and treasurer with roughly 27 years of continuous service as an officer of the association. Inspired by my mother, I have been an active volunteer all my life. What began as forced involvement for the local church has grown to devoted involvement at the national level. I've served on nearly every current NGWA committee, chaired most, and am serving as your president-elect in 2015. So why do I do it? Because it's the right thing to do. While we all should give back to the industry which has afforded us the way of life we enjoy, the real bonus is spend- ing time with your colleagues and having a tremendous opportunity for learning. Yes, that's right; you may acciden- tally learn a thing or two when you volunteer. Our community of professionals are open to the sharing of ideas and evolved techniques. I dare say we have in our little professional community a volume of the brightest and most resourceful people on the planet. The NGWA family has deep roots in the feeling of community and you are welcomed in as if you were an actual part of a family. The ANSI/NGWA-01-14 Water Well Construction Standard, now published and available for use, would be a pipe dream without the volunteers who came forward and devoted their time and expertise to its development. Thank you to all the volunteers and staff for your diligence and seeing it to completion. The time has come for another ANSI/NGWA Standard —this one focusing on ground-water pumping systems. NGWA is calling for volunteers to participate at the task group level for this effort and is always looking for individu- als ready to provide input and learn on committees, task groups, and intermittent volunteer opportunities. The current educational offerings from NGWA are out- standing. So many are offered at events it is hard to choose one over the other in the same time slot at times. And if you think about how great the educational and net- working opportunities are, you must consider how much greater it is to be involved in creating the curriculum. I must say it is an experience you cannot buy—you absolutely need to be involved. Those who are know of what I speak. Our industry's government affairs efforts have been reorganized with NGWA staff representing us on the ground in Washington, D.C. With that, we are sure to continue to be effective in the shaping of policy and legislation. So take a minute and reflect upon what affects your livelihood—good or not so good. Now determine what you are going to do about it. Whether it is political, regulatory, environmental, or process driven or whether it needs support, modification, or completely overhauled—your input is needed. So get involved in an NGWA committee or on a task group. It will be your best first step. Who knows where the TO BE OR NOT TO BE . . . A VOLUNTEER Along with the feeling of giving back, volunteering provides friendships and learning. By Jeff Williams, MGWC, CVCLD waterwelljournal.com 10 August 2015 WWJ Jeff Williams, MGWC, CVCLD The real bonus is spending time with your colleagues and having a tremendous opportunity for learning.

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