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 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…]

Report: Galveston Bay Shows Resiliency, But Some Worrisome Factors

Report: Galveston Bay Shows Resiliency, But Some Worrisome Factors

Photo: Lisa Gonzalez, president and CEO of the Houston Advanced Research Center, was on Houston Matters to discuss the findings of the 2019 Galveston Bay Report Card. Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public Media

Galveston Bay is in overall good condition, but the loss of wetlands, along with a slight decline in water quality and sea level rise, are concerning factors, according to the 2019 Galveston Bay Report Card.

The annual report … [more…]

Firefighting foam linked to water contamination across Massachusetts

photo: Firefighting foam linked to PFAS water contamination

State environmental officials are tracking an emerging threat to drinking water across Massachusetts linked to a firefighting foam used at military installations and airports.

“Back in 2012, 2013 we started showing these contaminates” said Dan Santos, director of the Barnstable Department of Public Works.

Testing revealed toxic levels of chemicals in the soil at the county fire and rescue training academy, only a few hundred yards from the town’s watershed. … [more…]