By Stuart Smith, Ground Water Science partner
My partner Allen Comeskey and I have been National Ground Water Association members for many years now. The NGWA is the U.S.-centered multi-sector professional and technical association focused on the ground-water industry. "Ground water industry" is a loose term for the science, engineering, technology, manufacturing, and distribution of goods and services to define, develop, manage, maintain, and protect ground-water resources. It is a very broad field, of course, and encompasses numerous disciplines and skill sets, from manufacturing water well casing caps to managing bioremediation programs.
Recently, I had the privilege to be part of a membership promotion feature for the NGWA with a nice Q&A interview.
I have a long association with the NGWA - in fact working for the staff in a long-bygone age (1979-1983) defined my career. For that I am grateful and very much appreciate the ongoing friendships from that time. That experience, the contacts and encouragement to risk and stretch, and the wider perspective I gained - combined with an education, personal experience, and personality that favor integrating all kinds of information to solve problems set me on my career path. Personal self-discipline and independence made the foundations of our practice possible. Allen brought his own self-discipline, technical rigor in hydrogeology, wide-ranging curiosity and willingness to expose "the emperor has no clothes" which completes who we are.
I mean all the high-sounding advice in the article.
In our case, a better industry - ground water and water supply in general - with higher expectations favors people like us. Improving practices and references raises the standards for all and makes for a better product. And if the profession and industry have invested in you, you give back and pay it forward. That's the bargain in any social contract. We can't selfishly just take and not do something for the next generation.
So yes, we encourage NGWA membership (and membership in other relevant organizations as well) and being an active member.