The need: There is a growing concern that many communities will not have the water resources to sustain the demands of society. Drinking water across the United States is being stressed. In rural areas where private wells are common, periodic testing of water quality is not happening. Towns need to manage their natural resources wisely, and information is needed to understand the local effects that give rise to a change in water quantity or quality.
The solution: GET WET! works with local K-12 school students who sample and analyze their own well water as a class project. This student-scientist project affords an opportunity to increase local participation and understanding of regional issues through a teacher-directed public summary of their research results.
GET WET! offers opportunities to educators, students, local governments, and the general public to learn about their local natural history and allows them to draw the connection between land use and water quality. The information gathered becomes part of a data repository by establishing a long-term town-centered monitoring program that can be used by the community to formulate productive choices in planning, management, and development. Student data are also added to a growing database of groundwater quality managed on this site. The GET WET! web site is being developed to link involved communities and well data as well as resources for teachers, students, and future facilitators. Participating states are expected to develop a web site to house interactive GIS maps that include all parameters tested. The information recorded can be accessed and shared with other schools throughout the country.