National Groundwater Awareness Month
The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) and The Groundwater Foundation (GF) sponsor National Groundwater Awareness across the United States during the month of 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 maintenance.
Following are some facts about groundwater and its uses in the United States.
- The Ogallala 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 Ogallala Aquifer holds more than 2.4 billion acre-feet of groundwater. Scientists estimate it could take 6,000 years to refill the aquifer if it were fully depleted naturally.
- Ten percent of homes have leaks and waste 90 gallons or more daily, 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. A household’s outdoor water use can be as high as 70 percent in the hot summer months or in dry climates.
- The United States uses 82.3 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 protecting and conserving Nebraska’s greatest natural resource, and NGWA and GF encourage 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.