National Groundwater Awareness
The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) and The Groundwater Foundation (GF) sponsors National Groundwater Awareness across the United States during the month or March. National Groundwater Awareness highlights the responsible development, management and use of groundwater, and is also a platform to encourage yearly water well testing and well maintenance.
Following are some facts about groundwater and its uses in the United States.
- The Oglalla Aquifer stretches more than 174,000 square miles through parts of the US states of South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, according to National Geographic. The Oglalla Aquifer holds more than 2.4 billion acre-feet of groundwater. Scientists estimate it could take 6,000 years to naturally refill the aquifer if it were ever fully depleted.
- Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day, according to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency.
- Average household leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted per household every year, according to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency
- Of the estimated 29 billion gallons of water used daily by households in the US, nearly 9 billion gallons, or 30 percent is devoted to outdoor water use, according to EPA’s WaterSense program. In the hot summer months, or in dry climates, a household’s outdoor water use can be as high as 70 percent.
- The United States uses 92.3 billion gallons per day of fresh groundwater for public supply, private supply, irrigation, livestock manufacturing, mining, thermoelectric power, and other purposes, according to the US Geological Survey.
Anyone can get involved in the protection and conservation of Nebraska’s greatest natural resource and NGWA and GF encourages everyone to do their part. NGWA asks every person to be a “groundwater advocate” by protecting and conserving groundwater. For more information visit the National Groundwater Association website at www.ngwa.org. If you have questions about the groundwater in your area contact the Lewis and Clark Natural Resources District (LCNRD) at 402-254-6758.