To fix the reef we first need to fix the land – but where do we start?

photo: To fix the reef we first need to fix the land – but where do we start?

Photo: The Great Barrier Reef, Northern Queensland, Australia

Rivers deliver sediment from land to the ocean. This sediment contains nutrients which can feed microscopic algae in water. But, if there is too much sediment and nutrients, delivered by floods from land-based erosion, algal blooms can occur that have negative effects on the Great Barrier Reef.

The challenge is that sediment comes from many different locations and we need to know … [more…]

How About That Water Quality? Ocean Acidification

photo: coastal tidal zone and rising sea levels. How About That Water Quality?

Talking about water quality isn’t most people’s idea of the ideal ice breaker. In the Lowcountry (loosely defined as coastal South Carolina and Georgia), folks typically find common ground discussing the region’s warm weather, great food, vibrant culture and remarkable history.

But water quality is quickly becoming the talk of the town as locals are growing concerned about how sea level rise and increased rainfall amounts are impacting their local


Exploring the Hydrodynamics of Sediment Diversion at Mid-Barataria

graphics: The Mississippi River typically has one to four high-water peaks between November and June.

This is part two of the series “Building Land in Coastal Louisiana: Expert Recommendations for Operating a Successful Sediment Diversion that Balances Ecosystem and Community Needs.” Please follow the link below for the original(s).

Historically, the Mississippi River has periodically overtopped its natural levee and flooded the adjacent wetlands with sediment-laden water. This natural process has been interrupted by the construction of flood control levees, and the available sediment has … [more…]

Understanding chemical byproducts formed during water treatment

photo: Break it down: Understanding the formation of chemical byproducts during water treatment

IMAGE: During flash flooding, water treatment systems can become overwhelmed, allowing untreated effluent and household chemicals to flow into local waterways.

Synthetical chemicals are ever-present in modern life — in our medications, cosmetics and clothing — but what happens to them when they enter our municipal water supplies? Because these chemicals are out-of-sight, out-of-mind, we assume they cannot harm us after we flush them down the sink.

However, most water … [more…]

New York City’s $1 Billion Leaking Water Infrastructure Repair

photo: diversion tunnel for the Delaware Aqueduct. Inside New York City’s $1 Billion Leaking Water Infrastructure Repair

(Photo: The tunnel boring machine excavating the Delaware Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel. Credit: NYC Water on YouTube)

The world’s longest tunnel needs a $1.2 billion fix. Built during World War II, the Delaware Aqueduct supplies approximately half of New York City’s drinking water and has been leaking 15 million to 35 million gallons daily since the 1990s.

Now construction workers are using a custom-made boring machine to create a 2.5-mile bypass … [more…]