Celebrating National Ground Water Awareness Week. I'm Greg Martin with today's Line On Agriculture.
Irrigation accounts for the largest use of ground water in the U.S. and 96 percent of rural Americans depend on it as their water supply. Last week was dubbed National Ground Water Awareness Week where home and farm owners were being urged to take care of their well water. The public awareness director for the National Ground Water Association, Cliff Treyens, explains it takes just four steps to maintain your water's health.
TREYENS: You wanna locate and properly construct your well system. Two, you want to regularly maintain it. Three, you want to regularly test the water and treat it if necessary. And then four you want to practice good groundwater protection.
Staying on top of your ground water's health is important, but don't let it intimidate you.
TREYENS: You don't have to do all this yourself. In fact, you shouldn't do it yourself. But you ought to know what is necessary in order for your system to be properly built, maintained, the water tested and so forth. So my major suggestion is that well owners get onto our website http://www.wellowner.org/ and spend some time learning about these four points that I've described.
Treyens says that with the shortage of water supplies, home owners should make it a priority to manage their ground water.
TREYENS: It's in their best interest to use it wisely. Because as we know in the last five years many areas of this country have experienced water scarcity including areas that haven't traditionally experienced it such as the southeast.
Treyens explains why water is so important to agriculture.
TREYENS: Water is the lifeblood of rural America and agriculture. Without it people couldn't live in some of these areas and without it the crops couldn't be irrigated and the livestock couldn't be watered, so groundwater really is critical.
He compares maintaining well water to caring for your car.
TREYENS: Being a good steward of your water well system and of ground water is not rocket science. I would draw the analogy to your car. Nobody expects you to understand everything about how your car works. But what you do need to understand is that car needs regular maintenance and you go to the experts who can provide the skills and the techniques to keep it in good shape. So the same thing applies to water wells.
That's today's Line On Agriculture. I'm Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.