National Ground Water Association and Irrigation Association to Collaborate

March 15, 2006

The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) and the Irrigation Association (IA) have signed an agreement that will support efforts to address mutual areas of interest such as scientific, technical and policy issues related to groundwater and wells.

NGWA is the world’s largest association representing the groundwater industry. Its nearly 15,000 members include many of the world’s leading public and private sector groundwater scientists, engineers, water well contractors, manufacturers and suppliers. IA represents irrigation equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers, irrigation system designers, contractors, educators, researchers and technicians from the public and private sectors worldwide.

“Irrigation uses the largest amount of groundwater in the U.S. Consequently, our organizations share an interest in the wise use and protection of groundwater for those who need it now and in the future,” said Kevin McCray, NGWA executive director.

About 70% of all groundwater withdrawals daily in the U.S.—about 58 mgd—is for irrigation (U.S. Geological Survey, March 2004 report on 2000 Water Use).

“It makes sense that the groundwater and well system experts work cooperatively with the irrigation system experts in what inherently is a symbiotic relationship,” McCray said.

According to the agreement, increased cooperation between the two organizations could take shape in the form of joint research; conferences; education and training; policy statements; technical documents; or business development.

“Decisions about water are often based on emotions," said IA executive director Tom Kimmell. “It is in the interest of the Irrigation Association, our members and the National Ground Water Association to encourage policy decisions based on science. This agreement allows our organizations to work together to support research and fact-based public policy where groundwater and irrigation are concerned.”

NGWA’s mission is to advance the expertise of all industry professionals and to further groundwater awareness and protection through education and outreach. The IA’s mission is to promote efficient and effective water management and be the voice of the irrigation industry worldwide.

Source: NGWA