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Articles on Water

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Sheas Creek runs into Alexandra Canal. Photo: Ilaria Vanni

Bell frogs, dugong bones and giant cauliflowers: water stories come to life at Green Square

Long before Green Square was a huge urban renewal project it was Country known to Traditional Owners for its wetlands. Until now, those water stories have remained largely invisible.
Hundreds of freshwater basins across the world, including the dried-up Santa Olalla permanent freshwater lagoon, in Spain’s Doñana National Park, are the most likely to experience social and ecological impacts due to freshwater use. (Donana Biological Station/CSIC)

Ripple effect: As global freshwater basins dry up, the threat to ecosystems and communities grows

While we know how global changes in freshwater pose risks to humans and ecosystems, we know less about how people and ecosystems will respond to these global freshwater challenges.
Water microdroplets provide a unique interface that can significantly speed up chemical reactions. Marianna Armata/Moment via Getty Images

Water was both essential and a barrier to early life on Earth – microdroplets are one potential solution to this paradox

The chemical reaction that forms essential biomolecules like proteins and DNA normally doesn’t occur in the presence of water. Microdroplets provide a unique environment that make it possible.
Snow’s physical properties mean that it can accumulate chemicals from the environment, including nanoparticles from car exhaust. (Shutterstock)

Snow can spread and worsen the effects of pollutants in the environment

From persistent chemicals to exhaust particulate matter, snow accumulates highly toxic pollutants. Regulations are needed to address the impacts on water supplies and the food chain.
Raw sewage bubbles up in the front yard of a home in Jackson, Mississippi, on Oct. 20, 2021. Rory Doyle/The Washington Post via Getty Images

How to steer money for drinking water and sewer upgrades to the communities that need it most

Congress has approved billions of dollars to fix water and sewer systems across the US. But getting that money to needy communities depends on how states define a key word.
As periods of drought become more common, the consequences of an ill functioning water sector will be severe. malgosia janicka/Shutterstock

The UK’s water industry is broken – here’s how to fix it

Unless action is taken, the UK will be unable to supply its own water needs in the future – we should look to water-scarce regions such as California for inspiration.
The Carlsbad Desalination Plant in Southern California is the largest such plant in the Western Hemisphere, providing 50 million gallons of desalinated seawater per day.​ Reed Kaestner via Getty Images

Desalinating seawater sounds easy, but there are cheaper and more sustainable ways to meet people’s water needs

Nearly 97% of the world’s water is in the oceans, but desalination is no magic bullet for water-stressed coastal cities.

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