National Groundwater Awareness Week

Tomorrow marks the end of this year’s National Groundwater Awareness Week (March 7-13, 2021).

Did you know that 94% of Anoka County residents rely on groundwater for their drinking water?

This may be a private well or city water that is supplied from larger municipal wells. In 2018, groundwater withdrawal by public and private wells amounted to over 11.8 billion gallons. By 2050, groundwater withdrawal is estimated to increase to over 19 billion gallons, per the Metropolitan Council.

Below are 10 ways to protect and conserve groundwater from the National Ground Water Association:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. Manage Waste – Properly dispose of potentially toxic substances like unused chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paint, motor oil, and other substances.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. (The average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.)
  6. Wash Smarter – Take shorter shows and only run full loads in the dish and clothes washer.
  7. 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.
  8. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – Reduce the amount of “stuff” you use and reuse what you can. 
  9. Natural Alternatives – Use all natural/nontoxic household cleaners whenever possible.
  10. Learn and Do More! – Get involved in water education! Learn more about groundwater and share your knowledge with others.

Interested in learning more about groundwater? Check out this series of videos from the University of Minnesota Extension!

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