As bouts with killer algae rose, Florida gutted its water quality monitoring

Photo: massive fish deaths and algal blooms. As bouts with killer algae rose, Florida gutted its water quality monitoring network

When Florida Sea Grant director Karl Havens, who is a well-regarded expert on water and has studied pollution all over the world, began hearing about a deepening algae bloom in his own backyard in Lake Okeechobee this summer, he struggled to find information that could tell him what was going on.

State scientists sample water in the lake, but too infrequently to track rapidly evolving algae blooms. Instead, Havens had … [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

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Commentary: Florida’s great green algae disaster

Commentary: Florida's great green algae disaster — we asked for it ... us and Rick Scott

We asked for it… us and Rick Scott

Imagine for a moment that you see a guy slowly reaching toward a scalding hot stove. Everyone around screams: “Don’t touch it! You’ll hurt yourself!”

But the guy pays them no mind and places his palm flush upon the bright orange burner, only to scream in surprise and agony as his flesh begins to char.

You’d think this man was pretty stupid, … [more…]

Why is Water Quality Monitoring Important?

photo: water drops. Water quality monitoring is a critical part of environmental science and public health.

When we turn on the tap and fill up a glass, go for a dip in the ocean or fry up a freshly caught fish from the local lake, most of us take it for granted that these are all safe actions. The reality is that behind the scenes, scientists work tirelessly to ensure that the quality of the world’s most valuable resource is as high as possible.

From lakes

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San Francisco’s green-grey infrastructure

San Francisco’s green-grey infrastructure

San Francisco’s green-grey infrastructure

Over the next 20 years, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will spend around $2.7 billion upgrading its sewer system. Read how the city is ensuring it will be a mix of green and grey infrastructure.

By Robert C. Brears

SFPUC’s Urban Water Assessment is part of the city’s Sewer System Improvement Program, the city’s 20-year program to plan, identify, and build investment priorities in the … [more…]