Groundwater Awareness Week began in 1999, and takes place the first full week of March. Groundwater is the water found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand and rock. It is stored in and moves slowly through geologic formations of soil, sand and rocks called aquifers.
Here are 10 ways to protect and conserve groundwater:
- Go Native. Use native plants in your landscape. They look great, and don’t need much water or fertilizer. Also choose grass varieties for your lawn that are adapted for your region’s climate, reducing the need for extensive watering or chemical applications.
- Reduce Chemical Use. Use fewer chemicals around your home and yard, and make sure to dispose of them properly – don’t dump them on the ground!
- Manage Waste. Properly dispose of potentially toxic substances like unused chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paint, motor oil, and other substances. Many communities hold household hazardous waste collections or sites – contact your local health department to find one near you.
- Don’t Let It Run. Shut off the water when you brush your teeth or shaving, and don’t let it run while waiting for it to get cold. Keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge instead.
- Fix the Drip. Check all the faucets, fixtures, toilets, and taps in your home for leaks and fix them right away, or install water conserving models.
- Wash Smarter. Limit yourself to just a five minute shower, and challenge your family members to do the same! Also, make sure to only run full loads in the dish and clothes washer.
- Water Wisely. Water the lawn and plants during the coolest parts of the day and only when they truly need it. Make sure you, your family, and your neighbors obey any watering restrictions during dry periods.
- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Reduce the amount of “stuff” you use and reuse what you can. Recycle paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, aluminum and other materials.
- Natural Alternatives. Use all natural/nontoxic household cleaners whenever possible. Materials such as lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar make great cleaning products, are inexpensive, and environmentally-friendly.
- Learn and Do More! Get involved in water education! Learn more about groundwater and share your knowledge with others.