May 16 Marks Start of Infrastructure Week

May 17, 2016
Infrastructure week tells story of what infrastructure means to Americans, including public water supply wells, public water systems, etc.

“‘Out of sight, out of mind’ too often applies to groundwater and the subsurface environment in which it exists, but maintaining this critical infrastructure is essential to providing comfort, security, goods, and services for the U.S. economy.”

The National Ground Water Assn. issued this important reminder to mark the beginning of Infrastructure Week 2016 on May 16.

Infrastructure Week tells the story of what infrastructure means to Americans. It matters, in ways big and small, to our country, economy, quality of life, safety and communities.

“Even though groundwater and the subsurface environment is not visible, we rely on it daily,” says NGWA CEO Kevin McCray, CAE. “The essential products and services of this unseen natural infrastructure must be managed and protected to sustain the well-being of the nation.”

The association has created a five-step guidance for public supply well operators to use in collaborating with consulting hydrologists and water well system professionals to maximize their systems’ water and energy efficiency.

An estimated 262,000 public water supply wells rely upon the natural storage of water in aquifers. Transmission of groundwater to their wells’ intakes is used by 137,900 public systems serving a combined 102.6 million Americans. While our nation’s civil engineers grade the nation’s overall drinking water infrastructure with a “D,” these water wells work every day to supply essential water. Improved well pump designs and controls are lowering energy needs for these wells, too, helping to make well systems one of the nation’s most affordable infrastructure projects.

Groundwater and wells serve other critical needs across America as outlined below.

Supply and production infrastructure

  • Stream baseflow is maintained by 492 billion gpd of groundwater discharge through streambeds to supply larger public water systems using surface water, providing inland river navigation and commerce to support ecosystems.
  • The nation’s food supply (and some of the world’s) relies on more than 400,000 irrigation wells dependent upon the storage and transmission of groundwater through aquifers without a vast infrastructure network.
  • More than 13 million occupied household wells rely on the natural storage and transmission of groundwater without an extensive centralized water distribution system.
  • An estimated 500,000 ground source heat pump installations exchange heat, often with groundwater, efficiently reducing dependence on extensive pipe networks for fuel to heat homes and buildings.

Storage in natural subsurface reservoirs

  • Aquifers around the nation store groundwater for 13 million households, 137,000 public (community and noncommunity) water systems, and 121,000 irrigated farms without extensive collection and distribution pipes and vast surface storage areas.
  • Hundreds of aquifer storage and recovery sites store water supplies naturally in the Earth for future use.

Water watchdogs

  • Thousands of groundwater monitoring wells are in place across the country to ensure groundwater is safe to drink, usable for crop irrigation, and manufacturing processes, and managed to provide sufficient quantity and quality of water for a large range of products and services, including ecosystem support. Unfortunately, the nation still lacks a fully equipped, integrated, and funded National Ground-Water Monitoring Network to sustain and grow this diligence.

Coordinated by a steering committee representing America’s business, labor, and policymaking leadership, and comprised of more than 100 affiliate organizations from all sectors of America’s economy and civil society, Infrastructure Week is the largest, most diverse, nonpartisan coalition of organizations dedicated to strengthening America by rebuilding our infrastructure.

Source: NGWA

Sponsored Recommendations

2024 Manufacturing Trends Unpacking AI, Workforce, and Cybersecurity

April 25, 2024
The world of manufacturing is changing, and Generative AI is one of the many change agents. The 2024 State of Smart Manufacturing Report takes a deep dive into how Generative ...

State of Smart Manufacturing Report Series

April 25, 2024
The world of manufacturing is changing, and Generative AI is one of the many change agents. The 2024 State of Smart Manufacturing Report takes a deep dive into how Generative ...

ArmorBlock 5000: Boost Automation Efficiency

April 25, 2024
Discover the transformative benefits of leveraging a scalable On-Machine I/O to improve flexibility, enhance reliability and streamline operations.

Blower Package Integration

March 20, 2024
See how an integrated blower package can save you time, money, and energy, in a wastewater treatment system. With package integration, you have a completely integrated blower ...