Editor Greg Ettling sends out a friendly reminder that Ground Water Awareness Week occurs this month.

If it just doesn't seem like it's been a whole year since the last Ground Water Awareness Week, it's because it hasn't. The annual observance, formerly held the second week of May, has been moved up to the third week in March (that's March 17-23 this year).

This yearly celebration that recognizes ground water as a valuable and renewable resource is spearheaded through the efforts of the National Ground Water Association (NGWA). And while that group does an excellent job and gets tremendous help from its state affiliate organizations, the real results are accomplished at the grassroots level. That's where you come in, and it's practically a duty. Drilling contractors can have as much positive impact as anyone in getting the message out to consumers about the vital importance of ground water protection and management. And drilling contractors certainly have as much to gain as anyone by having that message successfully delivered. Ratchet up that professional pride and make a commitment to your industry.

There are many ways to get involved, ranging from simple promotional postcards sent to homeowners to elaborate demonstrations that can attract television coverage. Do what you can but just be sure to do something. The NGWA's Web site (www.ngwa.org) offers a slew of ideas and even has materials that you just download and print on your letterhead.

So it's pretty easy to get involved and help. And you'll find a very receptive audience. Consumer awareness of drinking water issues has been getting stronger with each passing day. This past year especially has heightened consumer concerns. We've had a little more than a year to reflect on the dot.com collapse. The cyber bust has given people a stronger appreciation for things that are valuable and tangible. Anything more valuable and tangible than water? We've had a little more than half a year to reflect on Sept. 11; people have a stronger appreciation for things that demonstrate American strength and pride. Help show the country that the drilling industry is the very embodiment of that strength and pride; you'll be helping yourself at the same time.

Nice of You to Drop By

National Driller's Web site (www.drilleronline.com) was viewed by 10,207 visitors this past January - that's an all-time high for a single month. Thanks to everyone who checked out our offerings; come back soon. If you haven't visited yet, find out what you've been missing - breaking news, issue archives, convenient subscription renewal and other interactive features.

The Good News Gets Better

We were pleased enough when our online poll showed that business in 2001 was up from the previous year for 54 percent of respondents (21% stayed even; 25% were down). The latest poll asks drillers to look ahead for 2002 and the outlook is even better. Sixty-three percent expect to do better; 15 percent say things will be flat, and 22 percent expect a drop.