CORVALLIS - Oregonians can explore the state's underground water resource with a few clicks of a computer mouse on a new Oregon State University Extension Service Web site.
The address for "Ground Water Stewardship in Oregon" is http://groundwater.orst.edu.
Gail Glick Andrews, an OSU Extension Service water quality educator, developed the groundwater website with a $27,300 grant from the state Department of Environmental Quality. The well-illustrated site includes links to the latest groundwater information topics.
"The beauty of the web is that I can continually add and revise the information, and upgrade the quality of illustrations," Andrews said. "It is not like a printed publication that is harder to update once you are done."
In some areas of Oregon, the demand for groundwater outstrips the natural ability of rain and snowmelt to replenish this underground water supply. When wells run dry, or access to groundwater supplies is limited, public demand increases for information about groundwater and its regulation, Andrews said.
A major concern is that groundwater, once contaminated, is difficult to clean up. Fertilizer residues from fields and lawns percolate through the soil, polluting Oregon groundwater sites with nitrate. Leaks, spills, illegal dumping, and improper use of chemicals also cause groundwater pollution.
Andrews developed the "Ground Water Stewardship in Oregon" web site to be a one-stop learning site for those interested in groundwater. People unfamiliar with groundwater issues can begin with basic groundwater definitions and facts, then navigate to topics such as permits, wells, septic systems, and fuel storage tanks. Additional information includes Oregon's groundwater geology, and the impact that humans have on groundwater.
"I hope that the site will help local groups throughout the state that are working on groundwater protection to better share ideas with each other," Andrews said.
To help the site evolve, Andrews invites visitors to send their suggestions, general comments, new links, or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 541-737-6294.