The Importance of Membership

You can impact your industry through association memberships.

By Dave Schulenberg

You may or may not be a member of the National Ground Water Association. If you are, I say “Thank you!”

Thank you for helping support an association that fights for groundwater and the contractors, the manufacturers, the suppliers, and scientists and engineers that make up our great industry. Your support is greatly appreciated.

But are you a member of your state association? Are you current with your dues for your local association that is doing many of the same things NGWA does, but on the state level?

Just like being part of the NGWA, membership in your state association is important. In fact, it is at the state level that you can make a visibly significant difference in your industry and perception of groundwater.

You are a groundwater professional, and you need to make sure that this is recognized by those around you in your state.

Membership dues for your state association go a long way. From being able to offer trade shows, education—and other benefits!—these dues help provide resources for staff and lobbyists.

And when issues affect your industry in your backyard, you need to be involved. Ask yourself this:

Can you as a volunteer in 2021 monitor 5000 or more bill introductions at your state capitol, run a business, work in that business, and still have time for everything else you want to do? Do you even have the background to lobby, interact with elected officials on potential legislation, and ensure your thoughts and needs get addressed?

By being a member of your state and national association and supporting both associations, you can begin to affect change with customers, regulatory agencies, and elected officials. Associations are the best place to begin those conversations. Strong associations can open the door for meetings and other interactions for continued education and advice.

From PFAS to nitrates and from elected officials to agency interaction, the power of association is great. Make sure you are not only a member, but that you communicate with and hold your elected association directors accountable for your industry.

We truly are all better together!


Dave Schulenberg is the director of partner states for the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at dschulenberg@ngwa.org.