Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities

Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities

Near or far, forests — like this one at the edge of Hong Kong — affect the movement, quality and availability of water in cities. Photo by Florian Wehde/Unsplash

Water is essential to human health and well-being. In cities, leaders strive to provide secure access to clean, safe and affordable water. In rural areas, farmers hope for adequate rain and healthy rivers to produce healthy crops. The coronavirus pandemic reminds … [more…]

The US is in a water crisis far worse than most people imagine

A sample of tap water taken in Flint, Michigan. Photograph: Garrett MacLean/The Guardian

Industrial runoff and lax standards have tainted water across the US. Senators and doctors are calling me, asking what to do

When I was a little girl, my father would sing songs to me all the time about water. Sometimes, we would be playing down at the creeks and he would make up little tunes: “See that … [more…]

The burning question: How do wildfires impact watersheds?

The burning question: How do wildfires impact watersheds?

Photo: Site of the Brian Head wildfire in Utah still showing clear impacts more than a year after the fire Image Credit: arbyreed (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Article: Maina, F. Z., & Siirila‐Woodburn, E. R. (2020). Watersheds dynamics following wildfires: Nonlinear feedbacks and implications on hydrologic responses. Hydrological Processes , 34 (1), 33-50. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13568

For people in the western United States, images of devastating wildfires have become a terrifyingly familiar … [more…]

Government is Scaling Back Water Quality Protections. Surfers are Picking up the Slack.

The Government is Scaling Back Water Quality Protections. These Surfers are Picking up the Slack

Photo: A surfer rides a wave against the industrial backdrop of Lake Michigan. (Credit: Mike Killion/Courtesy of Surfrider)

Decades ago, California surfers decided to fight coastal pollution. Today, their massive network of citizen scientists is monitoring water quality in places the government doesn’t.

In 1984, a small group of California surfers were fed up with the development and water pollution at their favorite break, Malibu’s Surfrider Beach. They took their … [more…]

California now requires storm water permits for certain business licenses

California now requires storm water permits for certain business licenses: Here's what you need to know

Photo: Swimmers make their way up the Russian River in the Barb’s Tri, a triathlon for women at the Healdsburg Memorial Beach on Saturday. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

Here’s what you need to know

In the 1990s the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified storm water runoff from industrial land use properties as a source of pollution in surface water, including rivers, creeks, and lakes.

In most urban settings, storm … [more…]