The National Ground Water Association is leading an effort to study the effectiveness of public awareness outreach to private water well owners for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The goal is to better understand the elements of public outreach that are effective in motivating well owners to act in ways that protect their water quality and health.

Under a $78,358 CDC grant, NGWA’s project has two major parts:

  1. An extensive literature search and analysis by the Ohio State University College of Public Health to distill what published literature reveals about effective outreach to water well owners
  2. Interviews by NGWA and the Water Quality Association with managers of well owner outreach programs to learn from their perspectives and experiences.

“Private well owners are a widely dispersed group of people that reach into mostly rural areas of every state,” said Cliff Treyens, NGWA public awareness director. “Historically, the challenge has been not only to reach them but to do so with information and messages that move them to act in ways that protect their water quality and health.”

OSU is in the process of doing its literature search and analysis now. The interviews by NGWA and WQA are expected to take place in the spring.

“While there are many organizations involved in trying to educate people who own water wells for their drinking water supply, motivating them to stay on top of their water quality remains a difficult task,” said Treyens. “Our goal for this project is to gain greater insight into how to help well owners.”

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NGWA, a nonprofit organization composed of U.S. and international groundwater professionals — contractors, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, scientists, and engineers — is dedicated to advancing groundwater knowledge. NGWA’s vision is to be the leading groundwater association that advocates the responsible development, management, and use of water.