Registration Opens for Third Annual Campus RainWorks Challenge

Registration opened on September 2, 2014 for EPA’s third annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a green infrastructure design challenge for college and university students. Student teams and faculty advisors are invited to submit design boards, a project narrative, and a letter of support describing a proposed green infrastructure project for a location on their campus. Registration ends October 3, 2014, and registrants must submit their entries by December 19, 2014.

6 Ways The World Can Cope With Water Shortages

Read the full story from Fast Company.

As if California’s current drought wasn’t bad enough, it could be just a foretaste of what’s to come. Many of the U.S.’s major watersheds are “stressed” , and, across the world, several important regions are set to run low on water.

With growing populations and deepening climate change, we’re going to need to find new ways to conserve and make better use of supplies. The days of using water casually, as if there’s always more to come, will be over for a good proportion of the planet, including much of the southwest and western United States.

How can we overcome our shortages? A new paper from researchers at McGill and Utrecht Universities identifies six strategies–or “wedges”–that could make a significant difference. Each could provide a reduction in water-stressed population of at least 2% by 2050.

Gas Drilling Is Polluting Water, But Don’t Blame Fracking

Read the full story in the National Journal.

The natural-gas-drilling surge is polluting groundwater, but that doesn’t mean the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing is to blame. At least not directly.

That’s the conclusion of a new paper from researchers at several universities, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, who studied movement of gases in Texas and Pennsylvania regions with lots of gas drilling.

They found that problems with gas-well construction, not fracking itself, is letting gases escape and reach drinking-water wells in some cases.

New Tool Offers Global Access to More Than 10,000 U.S. Water Resources

Read the full story from Sustainable Brands.

The U.S. Water Partnership has announced the launch of a new platform that offers the global community simple online access to a growing library of U.S.-generated water data and knowledge.

H2infO was created to increase global access to important U.S.-generated water information resources, filling a gap in knowledge management identified by the international water community. By the end of 2014, more than 10,000 water resources from leading U.S.-based institutions will be centrally accessible through this expanding tool.

UTSA, SwRI researchers prove biochar is low-cost, effective method to treat fracking water

Read the full story from the University of Texas San Antonio.

Researchers at UTSA and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) have determined that biochar, a substance produced from plant matter, is a safe, effective and inexpensive method to treat flowback water following hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.


Curricula on marine debris from NOAA

Turning the Tide on Trash: A Learning Guide on Marine Debris

This set of lesson plans and background information introduces educators, students and researchers to the topic of marine debris. The interdisciplinary education guide is designed to provide maximum flexibility in the classroom: it can be used as a stand-alone teaching tool or to supplement work in other subject areas.

Appropriate for grades 1-12.

The Educator’s Guide to Marine Debris

This guide is designed for educators in both formal and informal education situations. It is a regional introduction to three main categories of marine debris: litter; derelict or abandoned boats; and lost or abandoned commercial and recreational fishing gear.

Appropriate for grades 5-8.

Download Marine Debris Activities and Puzzles
Puzzles, coloring books brainteasers, and hands-on activities for children.

An Educator’s Guide to Marine Debris

Designed as a standalone teaching tool, or to supplement lessons for educators in both formal and informal settings.
Appropriate for students grades K-12, with a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) objectives.




Big data to help keep fresh water clean, manage waste and detect tsunamis

Read the full story in the Financial Post.

In the wake of urbanization, climate change and industrialization, big data is driving new ways to resolve old issues in water management. Using sensors to collect data in the field isn’t new, but the amount of data, and the speed and frequency of which it is available, as well as the ability to integrate it all together, is providing a breeding ground for regional, national and even global innovation.