“Groundwater is important to you!” is the core message of National Groundwater Awareness Week 2012, March 11-17. Now well into its second decade, Groundwater Awareness Week spotlights one of the world’s most important resources – groundwater.

“Groundwater remains critically important, whether you’re on a public water system or a private well,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. “Everyone can play a role in preserving and protecting our nation’s precious groundwater,” Stallman said.

Farm Bureau supports National Groundwater Awareness Week because of the vital importance of groundwater to farmers and ranchers, who use it to irrigate crops and water livestock they’re raising for food. In addition, 96 percent of rural Americans depend on groundwater for their water supply, according to Stallman.

How individuals store, use and dispose of hazardous household substances or agricultural products can affect groundwater quality. In the same manner, whether homeowners and farmers regularly maintain their water wells and septic systems, or properly decommission abandoned wells affects the groundwater that serves as others’ water supply.

“This is more than just a rural issue. Public water systems and heavily populated urban areas can do much to harm groundwater quality,” Stallman said. “We all need to do our part to protect groundwater.”

National Groundwater Awareness Week is sponsored each year by the National Ground Water Association. Visit www.ngwa.org for action steps everyone can take to protect and conserve ground water.

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation