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Articles on Water

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A mixed-conifer forest in the central Sierra Nevada after restoration, with unthinned forest in the background. Roger Bales

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.
Schools in Ohio and Pennsylvania have already found Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, in their water systems. Andrew Whelton/Purdue University

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.
The 2018 Camp Fire north of Sacramento burned everything in its path: cars, power lines, and buildings – and contaminated local drinking water. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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.
Maine’s Penobscot River flows freely where the Veazie Dam once stood. Dam removals have reopened the river to 12 native fish species. Gregory Rec/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

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.
They may look comfy to sit on but you’d plummet through and hit the ground. Sam Schooler/Unsplash

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.
Carbonation and flavors are all that go into most seltzers. stockcam/E+ via Getty Images

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.
Discolored water can be caused by heavy metals, such as iron or copper. Iron can also act as a nutrient for organisms to grow in the pipes. Kyungyeon Ra/Purdue University

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?

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