What comes to mind when you think of the month of March? For most people, this month is most often associated with St. Patrick’s Day, the start of spring (or the spring equinox), “March Madness” college basketball, and setting your clocks ahead one hour for daylight saving time.
I want to share with you a few other memorable things that take place every March – and as you might guess, they’re all about water!
First – and especially relevant to our own local water supply – is National Groundwater Awareness Week (for 2022 it’s March 6 – 12). Sponsored by the National Groundwater Association, this is an annual observance to highlight the responsible development, management, and use of groundwater. This is, of course, exactly what Soquel Creek Water District does for you – our customers and community members. To quote our Mission Statement: “We are a public agency dedicated to providing a safe, high-quality, reliable, and sustainable water supply to meet our community’s present and future needs in an environmentally sensitive and economically responsible manner.”
So, let’s use National Groundwater Awareness Week to remember that our groundwater is overdrafted and experiencing saltwater contamination. Through our Community Water Plan, we have listened to the community’s voice and are taking action right now to tackle this issue head-on with the Pure Water Soquel project. It’s under construction and on track to provide a new source of safe, reliable, sustainable water to supply your homes, schools, and businesses. For more information about National Groundwater Awareness Week, visit ngwa.org and click on “Get Involved.”
Another water-related event taking place every March is the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Fix a Leak Week.” This year, it’s March 14 – 20, and during this time, you’re encouraged to chase down leaks in your home and landscaping, which will save water and help preserve our groundwater.
According to the EPA, the average household in the US may have leaks accounting for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year (about 30 gallons per day). And, ten percent of homes have leaks that waste a whopping 90 gallons or more per day! Why would anyone throw away that much water? You don’t have to! Your home may have worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These types of leaks are usually easy to fix, requiring only a few tools and inexpensive hardware.
Visit epa.gov/watersense/fix-leak-week for some great ideas on searching for and fixing those leaks. And be sure to visit the District’s water conservation page for free water-saving devices, grants, rebates, and more tools to make the most of our precious water supply.
The final March event that I’d like to share helps remind all of us about the value of water. World Water Day (March 22) is an annual United Nations Observance that celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people around the world currently living without access to safe water. That’s a startling number and should give us a clear understanding that we must not take our groundwater supply for granted. It needs to be managed, preserved, and protected.
In fact, this year’s World Water Day theme is “Groundwater – Making the Invisible Visible” (worldwaterday.org). Did you know that nearly all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater? It supports drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming, industry, and ecosystems. As the World Water Day website points out, this all-important groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere—certainly right here in the District’s service area. We’ve been working hard to raise awareness about our groundwater, that it’s our sole source of drinking water here, and it’s threatened by overdrafting and seawater contamination.
This year, World Water Day reminds everyone that we must protect groundwater from pollution and overdrafting, and use it sustainably. We couldn’t agree more! It’s what we do for you, every day of the year.
Come visit it us on Saturday, March 26 at the Aptos Farmer's Market from 8am–12pm. You can learn more about Pure Water Soquel as well as give us input on the District's Strategic Plan Update. Look for our Pure water Soquel Education trailer as a landmark.
Have a great March, and celebrate the start of spring with a renewed understanding of the value of our groundwater supply!