Making Your Customers Groundwater Stewards

A groundwater contractor told me he once asked a group of children where water comes from.

A hand quickly shot up and out came the child’s answer: From the sink!

While there can be no question the child was technically correct, his answer was the perfect lead for the contractor to drill down a little deeper—and yes, that pun is completely intended. The contractor told the group about the hydrogeologic cycle, aquifers, groundwater, and well and pump systems.

I am sure you meet customers on a regular basis whose knowledge is no more complex than that eager child. And now, it’s your job to fix that.

No more can you simply give a sales pitch and get a name on a contract. You need to explain to customers why you want the best design for their system based on a life-cycle cost analysis—not only saving them money over the lifetime of their water system, but also extending the life of their system.

You also need to explain the importance of water testing and offer maintenance contracts or service agreements putting you in front of the system on an annual basis.

Finally, you need to provide all of your customers with tips on saving water and protecting the aquifer—the life source of the water for the family or business—by providing a message of groundwater sustainability.

In short, you need to make all of your customers groundwater stewards.

The state of California passed earlier this summer two bills designed to establish water-efficiency standards. The bills incentivized water providers to recycle water and set annual water budgets. One lawmaker said it was important to prepare “for the next drought.”
There have been multiple reports of drought hot spots around the world and news reports of areas where the sustainability message is no longer a suggestion, but a matter of critical importance.

And then there’s Cape Town, South Africa. No one can forget earlier this year when the Cape Town government issued Day Zero, a day it was projecting the city’s drinking water to run out if habits did not change.

Instead of witnessing a disaster, though, we saw a conservation victory. Day Zero has been avoided for now because of significant changes by residents and the government. People in Cape Town are now using 13.2 gallons of water a day. By contrast, most Americans use 80 to 100 gallons a day.

You don’t need to need to get your customers to commit to measures like that, but Cape Town is a testament to what people can do when sustainability is on the minds of everyone—what can happen when everyone is a groundwater steward.

See what happens when sustainability is on the minds of your customers.


Thad 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

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