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Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum receives Groundwater Protector Award from National Ground Water Association

U.S. Representative Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota) received the 2012 Groundwater Protector Award from the National Ground Water Association today.

The Groundwater Protector Award honors people in government, industry, and the private sector for their public service efforts in conjunction with groundwater conservation, protection, and use.

McCollum is being recognized for her leadership in championing a National Ground Water Monitoring Network to provide information on the source of water supply for nearly 130 million Americans and approximately 40 percent of the nation’s irrigation water.

“Every day, millions of Americans rely on groundwater sources for their drinking water, including nearly 80 percent of Minnesotans. The National Groundwater Monitoring Network is a critical resource,” said McCollum. “Looking ahead, Congress must continue to do everything possible to ensure our nation’s drinking water remains a safe and plentiful resource. I’m honored to receive this award. I look forward to continuing our work on protecting and preserving our national resources.”

NGWA Executive Director Kevin McCray, CAE, lauded McCollum as a visionary regarding groundwater and its importance to America.

“Representative McCollum’s commitment to protecting groundwater is important and farsighted. She understands how vital groundwater is to our country’s future, from drinking water supplies and cropland irrigation to energy production and the health of our ecosystems,” said McCray. “It is no exaggeration to say that groundwater is part of the lifeblood of our country. Representative McCollum’s support of the National Ground Water Monitoring Network is most worthy of our 2012 Groundwater Protector Award.”

About 44 percent of Americans regularly depend on groundwater for their drinking water supply. Minnesotans use almost 863 million gallons of groundwater daily — 372 million gallons of which is used for public water supplies, 78 million from privately owned household wells, and 216 million for farm irrigation.

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