National Ground Water Association (NGWA)

National Ground Water Association (NGWA)

The National Ground Water Association is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of professionals from all sectors of the groundwater industry whose goal is to provide members, the public, and government decision-makers with the scientific knowledge and guidance necessary to responsibly develop, manage, and protect the world`s groundwater resources. NGWA is the industry leader in continuing professional education, offering short courses, conferences, Webinars, and an annual trade show. Publishes Ground Water, Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation, and Water Well Journal. Has an online bookstore.

Company details

601 Dempsey Road , Westerville , OH 43081-8978 USA


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Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Soil and Groundwater
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:

Founding date

1948 (as National Water Well Association; name changed in 1991)

Our mission

NGWA is a community of groundwater professionals working together to advance groundwater knowledge and the success of our members through education and outreach; advocacy; cooperation and information exchange; and enhancement of professional practices.

Our vision

NGWA's vision is to be the leading groundwater association advocating the responsible development, management, and use of water.

Our goals

  • NGWA and its members will use its outstanding scientific and technical leadership, knowledge, and resources to pursue innovation, model best practices, and improve the business climate for the groundwater industry.
  • NGWA will be a credible, valued resource on significant and timely issues that impact the groundwater industry and public access to safe, sustainable groundwater.
  • Our community will grow and benefit from the participation of all groundwater professionals.
  • Through NGWA’s efforts, the public will be confident there is a sustainable groundwater resource for domestic, municipal, industrial, ecological, and agricultural uses.

Our values

  • We believe the whole of NGWA is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • We share a commitment to the informed, responsible, and sustainable use of groundwater.
  • We are a community of professionals who value diverse perspectives, and sharing and learning from experience and research.
  • We are responsive to our members’ needs and interests.

Membership in NGWA

NGWA has four membership divisions — contractors, scientists and engineers, manufacturers, and suppliers; others with an interest in groundwater, but who are not employed in one of these four categories, may join as an associate.

Board of directors

  • National board has 19 voting members
  • Each membership division has an oversight board
  • Delegates from the general membership elect some directors and modify the NGWA Code of Regulations

Affiliated organizations

  • Affiliatd organizations — 44
  • NGWA maintains State Center for Groundwater Policy
  • NGWA maintains Resource Center for Association Management for state association leaders
  • NGWA conducts an annual Affiliate Organizations Peer-to-Peer Meeting during Groundwater Week


NGWA is a member, or an associate member, of:

  • Advisory Committee on Water Information
  • American Geosciences Institute
  • American National Standards Institute
  • Coalition for National Science Funding
  • Geological Society of America
  • Global Water Partnership
  • Groundwater Foundation
  • Groundwater Management Districts Association
  • International Union of Geological Sciences
  • Source Water Collaborative
  • U.S. Water Alliance
  • U.S. Water Partnership
  • WaterSense (U.S. EPA program)
  • Water Systems Council.

In the past several years, NGWA has cooperated with more than 200 organizations worldwide.


The National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation [501(c)(3)] (established 1994):

  • Conducts annual Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecture Series in Groundwater Science at universities and colleges around the world (since 1986)
  • Conducts annual William A. McEllhiney Distinguished Lecture Series in Water Well Technology (since 2000)
  • Maintains the Virtual Museum of Groundwater History (since 2002)
  • Awards undergraduate scholarships (since 1975)
  • Awards research grants (since 2006)
  • Awards humanitarian assistance grants for potable groundwater supply in developing nations (since 2005)
  • Funded the public informational study, 'Trends in the U.S. Marketplace for Individually Owned Private Wells.'

Political action committee

NGWA-PAC (established 1998) limits support only to candidates for election or reelection to the U.S. Congress.

NGWA consolidated budget

$5.5 million


  • Voluntary certification programs in well construction, pump installation, and ground-source heat pump applications — Certified Well Driller (CWD), Certified Pump Installer (CPI), Certified Well Driller/Pump Installer (CWD/PI), Certified Vertical Closed Loop Driller (CVCLD), and Master Groundwater Contractor (MGWC), the latter of which may be earned only after successfully passing qualifying contractor certification examinations
  • Voluntary designation program in drilling and pump systems sales for manufacturers and suppliers — Certified Sales Professional (CSP-I, CSP-II)
  • Voluntary certification program for scientists and engineers practicing in the groundwater industry — Certified Groundwater Professional (CGWP)

Committees, subcommittees, task forces

Committees, subcommittees, and task forces for NGWA include:

  • Awards Committee
  • Finance and Budget Committee
  • Government Affairs Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Professional Development Committee
  • Safety Committee
  • Standard Development Oversight Committee.

Convention and international trade expo

  • 2016 — Las Vegas, Nevada, December 6-8
  • 2017  —  Nashville, Tennessee, December 5-7
  • 2018 — Las Vegas, Nevada, December 4-6

Information services

  • A continually updated online database that currently contains more than 17,000 groundwater literature citations from NGWA's publications and conference proceedings
  • Standards, guidelines, criteria, practices, and procedures
  • Educators' resource section on the website that provides a listing of groundwater resource materials as well as lesson plans
  • An online bookstore that provides publications, videos, and other materials related to groundwater science and well technology


  • NGWA is the industry leader in continuing professional education, offering conferences, short courses, and workshops throughout the world
  • Theis Hydrogeology Conference
  • Annual Groundwater Week
  • Annual NGWA Groundwater Summit
  • Special topic conferences
  • Regional hydrogeological conferences
  • Provides discounts on various products and services important to the membership, including property and casualty insurance
  • Federal government affairs advocacy effort
  • National Groundwater Awareness Week each March
  • Protect Your Groundwater Day each September
  • Ongoing public awareness of groundwater and water well stewardship
  • Regional association and trade exposition management services


  • Three publications, in digital and print formats, expertly cover the groundwater industry:
  • Groundwater® — bimonthly academic journal (accepts educational, display, employment, and professional card advertising)
  • Groundwater Monitoring & Remediation® — quarterly technical journal (accepts display and professional card advertising)
  • Water Well Journal® — monthly trade journal (accepts display and classified advertising; an annual Spanish-language edition is distributed to Latin America)
  • NGWA twice-monthly e-publications: NGWA Toolkit and Washington Update serving all members (both accept banner ads)


National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation's Len Assante Scholarship Fund — number granted varies, as do amounts

Speakers bureau

Directors and staff are available to speak on a variety of groundwater industry topics, as well as association management topics.

External funding

By contract, the Association has recently provided services to, or with the support of, organizations such as:

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • The Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin
  • Michigan Ground Water Association
  • Minnesota Water Well Association
  • Montana Water Well Drillers Association
  • National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (Flinders University, Australia)
  • Pacific Northwest Ground Water Expo
  • Red Deer Community College, Alberta
  • University of Memphis Ground Water Institute
  • Water Management Association of Ohio
  • Water Research Foundation.


  • Associations Advance America Award — Haiti Relief Efforts — American Society of Association Executives
  • Achievement Award Technology — Drilling Cost Calculator — Ohio Society of Association Executives
  • Associations Advance America Award — Well Disinfection Guide for Tsunami Relief — American Society of Association Executives
  • Associations Advance America Award — Tote a Toy for a Kid Campaign, National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation — American Society of Association Executives
  • Associations Advance America Award — Groundwater Awareness Week — American Society of Association Executives
  • Silver Award for Special Projects, website — Virtual Museum of Groundwater History — Association TRENDS