Nonprofit organizations (NGOs) seeking an answer to the growing global water crisis are fast forming their own business niche, with more well-meaning startups springing up every day. What many of these lack, however, is proven experience in the field of water sustainability.

The Groundwater Foundation celebrated its 25-year anniversary in 2010, making it a legacy in the water resources nonprofit world and a model for how to establish and sustain long-term solutions to communities that lack a stable and clean source of water.

The Nebraska-based NGO uses a three-pronged approach to fulfill its mission that focuses on supporting innovation, education and action in the area of groundwater sustainability, particularly in communities in the United States.

Educational goals are achieved through a comprehensive education program that involves the hosting of ongoing webinars, school programs and projects, and several annual events like the Children’s Groundwater Festival. Innovation stems from coordinating with numerous science and engineering firms to promote new ideas, and then taking action by using those concepts in actual projects that help establish and maintain access to groundwater.

The emphasis on groundwater is also unique among NGOs. It is often underplayed as a technical matter despite its critical role in water resource management as a primary source of water used for drinking and crop irrigation. The Groundwater Foundation brings the importance of that science to the forefront of the fight for water sustainability.

Individuals who want to get more involved can participate in one of the NGO’s many programs or activities, as well as read its quarterly publication, The Aquifer. Communities and watersheds that want to take advantage of foundation benefits can become Groundwater Guardians, a special program designed to encourage communities to provide educational opportunities and initiatives to its citizenry through support and acknowledgment.

The Groundwater Foundation supports a network of 420 volunteer entities that collectively educate millions of people about the importance of groundwater, and the NGO welcomes all with an interest in active participation.