Restoring California's forests to reduce wildfire risks will take time, billions of dollars and a broad commitment

Restoring western forests – thinning out small trees and dead wood – is an important strategy for reducing the risk of massive wildfires. But these projects aren't fast, easy or cheap.

Martha Conklin, Professor of Engineering, University of California, Merced • conversation
Oct. 13, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: climate-change water california-wildfires forests ecosystem-services wildfires us-west us-forest-service sierra-nevada watersheds forest-restoration

Wildfires can leave toxic drinking water behind – here's how to protect the public

Two environmental engineers say governments need to do more to protect people from possible water contamination after wildfires.

Caitlin R. Proctor, Lillian Gilbreth Postdoctoral Fellow, Purdue University • conversation
Sept. 17, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: water camp-fire chemicals drinking-water natural-disasters california wildfires oregon disaster-recovery safe-drinking-water-act building-codes washington-state

Dangerous bacteria is showing up in school water systems, reminding all buildings reopening amid COVID-19 to check the pipes

When water stagnates in pipes, harmful metals and bacteria can accumulate and make people sick. Buildings that were shut down for weeks during the pandemic may be at risk.

Andrew J. Whelton, Associate Professor of Civil, Environmental & Ecological Engineering, Purdue University • conversation
Sept. 8, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: health children public-health bacteria covid-19 coronavirus schools pandemic water coronavirus-2020 viruses buildings legionella legionnaires-disease plumbing

Several schools find harmful bacteria in water systems, reminding all reopening buildings to check the pipes

When water stagnates in pipes, harmful metals and bacteria can accumulate and make people sick. Buildings that were shut down for weeks during the pandemic may be at risk.

Andrew J. Whelton, Associate Professor of Civil, Environmental & Ecological Engineering, Purdue University • conversation
Sept. 8, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: health children public-health bacteria covid-19 coronavirus schools pandemic water coronavirus-2020 viruses buildings legionella legionnaires-disease plumbing

Looser standards for showerheads could send a lot of water and money down the drain

The Trump administration is trying to roll back a regulation that requires showerheads to conserve water and saves owners an average of $70 and nearly 3,000 gallons of water yearly per showerhead.

Robert Glennon, Regents Professor and Morris K. Udall Professor of Law & Public Policy, University of Arizona • conversation
Sept. 2, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: covid-19 water energy-efficiency deregulation drought regulation trump-administration water-conservation water-efficiency us-department-of-energy

Wildfires can poison drinking water – here's how communities can be better prepared

Buildings aren't the only things at risk in wildfires. Recent disasters in California have left local water system contaminated with toxic chemicals afterward, slowing return and recovery.

Caitlin R. Proctor, Lillian Gilbreth Postdoctoral Fellow, Purdue University • conversation
Aug. 3, 2020 ~11 min

Tags: water camp-fire chemicals drinking-water natural-disasters california wildfires disaster-recovery safe-drinking-water-act building-codes safe-drinking-water

When dams cause more problems than they solve, removing them can pay off for people and nature

Thousands of dams across the US are aging and overdue for maintenance. Taking them down can revive rivers, restore fish runs and create new opportunities for tourism and outdoor activities.

Jon Honea, Assistant Professor of Science, Emerson College • conversation
May 29, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: climate-change water flooding fisheries dams rivers ecosystem-recovery california maine hydropower

What would it feel like to touch a cloud?

You might have already felt what it would be like inside a cloud made of condensed water vapor.

Katja Friedrich, Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder • conversation
May 28, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: water rain snow curious-kids curious-kids-us clouds evaporation hail snowflake cloud-condensation-nuclei

Is seltzer water healthy?

Bubbly waters are becoming increasingly popular. While these carbonated, sometimes flavored beverages might cause slight harm to teeth, they are far better than soda. They might even be good for you.

Rahel Mathews, Assistant Professor, Nutrition, Mississippi State University • conversation
May 7, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: health sugar food water teeth dental-care carbon-dioxide nutrition fizzy-drinks

The coronavirus pandemic might make buildings sick, too

Office buildings have been left mostly empty for weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic, leaving standing water in pipes where harmful organisms can grow. What happens when those buildings reopen?

William Rhoads, Research Scientist, Virginia Tech • conversation
April 21, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: health public-health bacteria covid-19 coronavirus water coronavirus-2020 viruses buildings legionella legionnaires-disease plumbing

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