WQP: What is the NGWA? Give us a brief overview of the association and its function
Kevin McCray: The NGWA, founded in 1948, is the third largest water-related membership organization in the world. Nearly 15,000 international members are committed to the association’s mission of advancing the expertise of all groundwater professionals and to furthering groundwater awareness and protection through education and outreach. These professionals come from contracting, manufacturing, science, supply, engineering and government sectors.
WQP: What are some of the benefits of NGWA membership?
McCray: NGWA is the place where many diverse groundwater professionals gather to share their individual and collective experiences, knowledge and insights for the improvement of the drinking water supply of nearly 50% of the planet's population.
While we have many features of membership advocacy, publications, safety training, business marketing tools, continuing education, market statistics the main benefit is access to an international network of expertise among our members and through the relationships established by the association.
We also provide service to the public as a clearinghouse of information on groundwater and water well systems. Our consumer information service, www.wellowner.org , fields nearly 15,000 queries each month. A benefit of NGWA membership for a groundwater contractor is to be listed on that site’s referral service. We estimated that last year, the service created business leads valued in excess of $27 million for contractors.
WQP: What are some of the NGWA's initiatives in 2005 and plans for 2006?
McCray: A great concern for groundwater professions is proper groundwater industry and general public understanding of the issue of water availability or what some call “sustainability.” We are addressing this through extensive industry education and knowledge transfer as well as through public awareness. On the consumer end, we are partnering in the spring during National Ground Water Awareness Week with the Automotive Oil Change Association to distribute 800,000 groundwater fact sheets to consumers who have their oil changed that week.
WQP: What is the Ground Water Adventurers program?
McCray: Ground Water Adventurers is a new program for children Kindergarten through 12th grade at www.groundwateradventurers.org . The purpose of Ground Water Adventurers is to raise children’s awareness of groundwater as the consumers and groundwater professionals of the future. With brain ticklers, puzzles, fun experiments and more, this program makes an adventure out of exploring the world of groundwater.
To whet the appetites of Ground Water Adventurers, the program will serve up a monthly newsletter, Ground Water Gorp (gorp = slang for trail mix) and a Hydroblog where children can post messages about groundwater topics and questions.
Children of NGWA members can join for free, and children of non-members can join for $10. All children who join will receive a Ground Water Adventurers T-shirt. All other features of Ground Water Adventurers are accessible free on the website.
WQP: Could you give us an update on the NGWA Ground Water Expo to be held in December?
McCray: The 2005 Ground Water Expo, December 13-16, in Cobb County, Ga., offers excellent continuing education for all groundwater professions contractors, scientists and engineers, and for manufacturers and suppliers. Our show is where the industry comes each year to take a deep breath after working flat out 24/7 during the summer and fall to assure that people and their businesses have safe and plentiful groundwater supplies. They come to learn tips and techniques not only about the resource and its associated technologies and sciences, but also to better their business practices, such as increasing sales and better managing employees. To see all of the workshops offered at this year’s Expo, visit http://www.ngwa.org/e/expo05/0512136010.shtml#workshops . wqp
For additional information, contact Kevin McCray at [email protected] .