The Times News, © 2003

February 19, 2003

Carbon County recently entered the Groundwater Guardian program of The Groundwater Foundation. Groundwater Guardian recognizes the groundwater protection accomplishments of community teams throughout the country and encourages citizen involvement at the local level.

To enter the Groundwater Guardian program, communities first must form a broad-based team of citizens, educators, business and/or agriculture representatives, and local government representatives. This team then works to implement activities that address local groundwater-related concerns and priorities, such as public awareness, education, conservation, pollution prevention, public policy, or best management practices.

Groundwater Guardian began in 1994 with eight pilot communities. Carbon County has participated since 2000 and was among 150 communities in 34 states and one Canadian province designated as Groundwater Guardian Communities in 2002. New communities may enter the program at any time during the year, and there is no cost to enter.

Groundwater Guardian also offers an affiliate program to recognize business, organizations, agencies, and other entities that work with communities to support their groundwater protection efforts by providing educational materials, assistance for public events, technical assistance, or in-kind services. Affiliates also spread the word about the program and encourage new communities to become Groundwater Guardians.

The Groundwater Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Lincoln, Neb. that works to educate the public about the nature and value of groundwater. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has offered various educational programs and opportunities for youth and adults, and is well known for its Children’s Groundwater Festival.