Educating the Nation on Groundwater Protection

In December, I had the exciting opportunity to speak on a topic I'm passionate about at the National Groundwater Association Expo in Las Vegas. This event is held annually, and helps professionals better represent the water well industry through education and product innovation updates.

My presentation was titled, "Protecting Groundwater Using Variable Speed Technology" and had three main objectives: (1) Create awareness of the need to protect our groundwater, (2) Embrace technology, specifically variable speed control systems, and (3) Meet the needs of the consumer and professional, while educating them on the importance of managing water, life's most valuable resource.

I believe that people are being misled to think that we have an endless supply of groundwater. In Oregon alone, groundwater supplies are not sustainable at the rate they are being used.

According to the 2010 NGWA Groundwater Facts, irrigation accounts for the largest use of groundwater in the United States. Some 53.5 billion gallons of groundwater are used daily for agricultural irrigation from 407,913 wells.

It is my passion and goal to help educate the consumer on the importance of being a good steward of our groundwater.
— Dale Aerni

Oregon's agriculture market has changed and now requires many more irrigated crops than in years past. While I support our state's ag market and the growth, I also promote the responsible use of our water resources.

Private household wells constitute the largest share of all water wells in the US. More than 13.249 million year-round occupied households have their own well. Owners of these water systems are also seeing the need to make changes.

Home products are becoming more and more water and energy-efficient. Certain water-using appliances work best with constant water pressure, not the fluctuating pressures that conventional control systems provide. Technology that is available today allows homeowners to use only the water they need, preventing the over-pumping of their well.

Using variable speed technology, we now have the ability to maintain constant pressure, monitor well water levels, prevent over-watering, detect broken water lines, and utilize remote control capabilities. And these are only a few examples of how we can now protect our groundwater in ways that are impossible with conventional water pump controls.

It is my passion and goal to help educate the consumer on the importance of being a good steward of our groundwater. I will do this by asking the right questions, determining their needs, presenting the facts, and then, by providing a solution.

The 2014 NGWA Groundwater Expo was a great success. What an amazing opportunity to share my passion for managing water, life's most valuable resource.

Dale Aerni
Water Systems Manager