water

EarthFix Reports
7:34 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Washingtonians Could Safely Eat More Fish Under New Water Pollution Rules

Pollution standards introduced by Gov. Jay Inslee would allow Washington residents to safely eat more fish.
Flickr Photo / Michael B

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 1:45 pm

Washington's pollution standards would be made much tougher -- making water clean enough that people can safely eat a daily serving of locally caught fish and shellfish -- under a plan laid out by Gov. Jay Inslee.

The governor announced Wednesday that he wants Washington to set the same fish-consumption standards that guide water pollution rules in Oregon.

As a consequence, waters in Washington would be clean enough that people can consume 175 grams of fish a day, up from the current standard of 6.5 grams a day.

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Water
3:58 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Could Limiting Evaporation Help With Drought?

Water levels have dropped at Lake Travis because the drought, May 16, 2011. (Lower Colorado River Authority)

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 12:06 pm

Most of the southwestern U.S. is in the midst of some level of drought. Parts of California, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas are all seeing extreme drought, as rainfall and winter snowpacks have been far below average.

One of the biggest factors affecting water supplies in these hot, dry places is evaporation. Reservoirs can lose as much water to evaporation as the water that’s actually pumped out of them for drinking water.

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Agriculture
1:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

California Farmers Ask: Hey Buddy, Can You Spare Some Water?

Allen Peterson's farm, near the city of Turlock, Calif., lies next to a concrete-lined canal full of water. He's one of the lucky ones.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:29 am

Imagine if a gallon of milk cost $3 in your town, but 100 miles away it cost $100, or even $200.

Something similar is happening right now in California with water that farmers use to irrigate their crops. Some farmers are paying 50 or even 100 times more for that water than others who live just an hour's drive away.

The situation is provoking debate about whether water in California should move more freely, so that it can be sold to the highest bidder.

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Global Health
2:38 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

A Simple, Elegant Invention That Draws Water From Air

The WarkaWater gathers water from fog and condensation. Named after an Ethiopian fig tree, it consists of a 30-foot bamboo frame and a nylon net. It was invented by an Italian firm and three of them are shown here in an Ethiopian village.
Courtesy of Architecture and Vision

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 7:49 am

When Italian designer Arturo Vittori and Swiss architect Andreas Vogler first visited Ethiopia in 2012, they were shocked to see women and children forced to walk miles for water.

Only 34 percent of Ethiopians have access to a reliable water supply. Some travel up to six hours a day to fetch some or, worse, resorts to using stagnant ponds contaminated by human waste, resulting in the spread of disease.

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City Utilities
8:47 am
Thu April 17, 2014

One Man's Pee Pushes Portland To Flush 38 Million Gallons Of Water

There are signs around the reservoirs in Portland's Mount Tabor Park that warn against putting anything in the water. They apparently didn't dissuade one young man from urinating into the city's drinking supply this week.
Randy L. Rasmussen The Oregonian/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 10:25 am

Though they concede it's unlikely the public was endangered, officials in Portland, Ore., have decided to drain 38 million gallons of water from a reservoir after a young man was observed urinating into it on Wednesday.

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Water
1:46 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Bringing The Colorado River Back To Long-Dry Parts Of Mexico

An eight-week release of water from the Morelos Dam has filled parts of the Colorado River Delta that haven't seen water in nearly two decades, like this spot about 20 miles south of the dam. (Stina Sieg/KJZZ)

For the first time in almost 20 years, the Colorado River is flowing into northern Mexico through a dam that usually stops it. It’s called a pulse flow — a temporary release of water.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Stina Sieg of KJZZ traveled to see the effect it’s having on Mexico’s long-barren delta.

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Municipal Services
10:33 am
Wed March 19, 2014

More Communities Look To Recycling Toilet Water

Ron Wildermuth is pictured at the The Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility. (Jeremy Hobson/Here & Now)

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:01 pm

As California deals with a historic drought, more communities are looking to recycling sewage and storm runoff as a way to deal with the water crisis.

At the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo, California, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Ron Wildermuth, manager of public and government affairs for the West Basin Municipal Water District.

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Utilities
3:17 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Possible Rate Hikes For Seattle Public Utilities Customers

At the current pace, Seattle Public Utilities officials say rates could increase nearly 30 percent over the next 6 years.
Flickr Photo/Joe Shlabotnik

Steve Scher talks with Ray Hoffman, director of Seattle Public Utilities, about the possible rate hikes for Seattle residents. SPU is hosting four public meetings to collect comments from the community.

Rejecting The Mainstream
10:28 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Portland Voters Keep Fluoride Out Of Drinking Water

Dentist Jay Levy, organizer Kim Kaminski, and volunteers with Clean Water Portland, which opposed adding fluoride to Portland water.
Oregon Public Broadcasting Photo/April Baer

Voters in Portland, Oregon have decide not to add fluoride to their municipal drinking water. Seattle and most other large cities in the US added the chemical decades ago to prevent cavities in children.

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Battling Algae Blooms
8:57 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Lake Managers Get New Tool To Combat Algae

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:40 am


Nothing spoils a summer swim in your favorite lake like an algae bloom. These become more common as the weather warms up.  A lake in Federal Way, Washington -- near Seattle -- is serving as a proving ground for a possible new tool to combat toxic blooms.


Almost every summer until last summer, Lake Lorene would turn pea soup green.

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Water Pollution Claims
9:09 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Environmentalists Announce Water Pollution Lawsuit Over Escaped Coal

Laura James pulls a piece of black porous rock from the water beneath the railroad bridge in Ballard in Seattle.
Lamont Granquist

Environmental groups have collected samples of black rock collected in water bodies along train tracks in the Northwest and found that some of that rock is coal. The Sierra Club, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Columbia Riverkeeper and other environmental groups have sent a notice of intent to sue BNSF Railway and several coal companies for violations of the Clean Water Act.

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Environment
9:00 am
Thu December 27, 2012

The Next Act For Clean Water

What is the future of clean water?
Credit Flickr photo/Ibrahim Areef

The Clean Water Act turned 40 this year. What has it accomplished? Where would we be without it? And what will the next 40 years look like for clean water in this country? Weekday presents a special broadcast produced by KUOW's EarthFix and Living On Earth from Public Radio International.

Clean Water
11:54 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Eric Stowe Strives To Make A Splash In China With Clean Water

Splash installed a water system so these students at Dung Liet Primary School in Vietnam could have access to affordable, clean water.
Eric Stowe Splash

Eric Stowe’s Seattle-based nonprofit Splash works to provide clean water to children in China and the developing world. Ross Reynolds talks with Eric Stowe about how he got involved in clean water and the struggles he faces in his work .

Public Utilities
11:05 am
Wed November 14, 2012

A City Grows Up: Shoreline Votes To Found Own Water Utility

Last Tuesday's general election marked a decisive moment for the city of Shoreline. 70% of voters there agreed to buy water services back from the city of Seattle and create their own water utility.
blockpartypress Creative Commons - flickr

Last Tuesday's general election marked a decisive moment for the city of Shoreline: 70 percent of voters there agreed to buy water services back from the city of Seattle and create their own water utility. 

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Clean Water Act
9:41 am
Wed October 17, 2012

How We Got Into Such A Mess With Stormwater

Laura James swims inside a stormwater outfall in Puget Sound that she has come to call "The Monster" because of how much runoff billows from it when it rains.
OPB Photo/Michael Bendixen

The Clean Water Act took effect 40 years ago Thursday. In 1972, stormwater pollution was nowhere near a top priority. Today, it’s taken the lead as the top water contaminator. How bad is it? Puget Sound diver Laura James takes us where nobody wants to go — inside a stormwater outfall — to get an upclose look.

Read the full story on KUOW's EarthFix