A Legacy of Being There

The timing of one of my first big projects at Water Well Journal was perfect for someone green to the groundwater industry like me.

In the summer of 2000 I was told to pound through old issues looking for articles and images highlighting drilling methods because we were putting together a two-part series on the last 100 years of drilling.

Suddenly I was face-to-face with dusty magazines dating back to the 1940s, scanning them for articles, images, and advertisements on drilling technology.

But it wasn’t just a fact-finding mission; it was my history lesson. And as I went through issue after issue and decade after decade, it became a lesson not just on water well drilling, but on Water Well Journal.

Throughout all of the industry breakthroughs, key developments, and major stories, WWJ was always there. The good, the bad, the concerns, and even the fun, WWJ was there. As a publishing professional, it was pretty awesome to see—and equally awesome to realize I was now a part of that legacy.

This year marks the 70th year WWJ has been there and we’re celebrating the birthday on page 28. There, you’ll find articles, images, and a timeline highlighting just some of the key moments in the journal.

It was nearly impossible to narrow down the highlights. It sure was fun compiling, though. It gave me the opportunity to pull out those old issues and get lost in the rich history once again.

People tell me I’ve been at my job a long time and my name has been in WWJ for 16 years now. But for some perspective, that’s just 23% of WWJ’s life. I’m in my 12th year as editor, but that means I’ve overseen only 17% of WWJ’s issues—a pebble dropped in a pond of publications, really.

Many of you have grown up with WWJ. Some of you have probably never experienced life when the journal wasn’t arriving each month in the mailbox at your home or office. Thank you for that; you’re why we do what we do.

You provide a life-sustaining resource to people. Our goal is to help you do it better, do it in a way that grows your business, and do it safely so you are able to return home to your family each night.

That goal was there in year one and has remained for seven decades. I know because I’ve looked through the issues.

I hope you enjoy celebrating our birthday with us!

Thad PlumleyThad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and director of information products at the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at tplumley@ngwa.org and on Twitter @WaterWellJournl.