It’s hard to appreciate what you can’t see. But in the case of the abundant water that lies beneath our feet, appreciation is essential.
March 8-14 is Groundwater Awareness Week. In Michigan, that means learning about and cherishing the water that supplies 45% of the state’s population with drinking water, that serves the needs of industry and agriculture, that is vital to our trout streams and contributes between 20% and 40% of the volume of the Great Lakes.
To foster appreciation of groundwater, FLOW is unveiling our groundwater story map. Packed full of information about the environmental significance of this resource, the story map is a window into one of Michigan’s overlooked assets.
Click below to view the interactive map.
Michigan has inadequate protections for groundwater. By some estimates there are more than 20,000 sites of groundwater contamination in our state. Chemicals like PFAS and TCE, conventional contaminants like nitrates and chlorides, and microorganisms like E. coli have fouled groundwater across Michigan.
There are an estimated 130,000 failing septic systems that process household waste, largely in rural areas, and discharge microorganisms to groundwater and surface waters. Research has linked concentrations of septic systems with human illness.
Since 2018, FLOW has been committed to educating the public and working to reform state groundwater policy. The information and policy recommendations in our report, The Sixth Great Lake, are helping to drive a discussion of how Michigan can do a better job of safeguarding the groundwater we drink, use and benefit from.
We encourage you to check out the map — and to participate actively in defense of our precious groundwater.