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A podcast helping water leaders to discover solutions and drive change. waterloop is for people who work in water management, such as utilities, government, universities, engineering firms, technology companies, nonprofits, and NGOs. The podcast helps listeners to become more knowledgeable leaders, creators of change in communities, and builders of a sustainable and equitable water future. waterloop is hosted by Travis Loop, who brings two decades of experience in journalism and water commun ...
 
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In an increasingly thirsty world, there is much potential in desalination, the process of removing salt from seawater. But desalination has historically posed challenges - it consumes massive amounts of expensive energy, produces a waste called brine, and raises concerns about impacts on aquatic life. So how is desalination becoming more of an opti…
 
In a recent poll, U.S. voters overwhelmingly agreed that water is a human right, clean waterways are important, and infrastructure investments are critical. While those results are encouraging, the real value of polls are in how they can be used to test language, create messages, and influence policy. That work is discussed in this episode with Nic…
 
P3 involves a public agency partnering with a private entity on a project. A twist on the traditional public-private partnership puts the community first and focuses on its challenges and opportunities. This approach works particularly well with green infrastructure, as discussed in this episode with Dominique Lueckenhoff, a former water official f…
 
2022 is the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which fundamentally changed regulation and management of water resources in the U.S. The Clean Water Act Owner’s Manual was created to help people understand and use the law to reduce pollution. The tool is discussed in this episode with Katherine Baer, Vice President of River Programs at the Riv…
 
Algae blooms that pollute waterways, produce toxins, and cause dead zones are one of the most widespread and challenging environmental problems in the U.S. Nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural land is the leading fuel for the algae blooms, but efforts to reduce the nutrient pollution from farms have largely been unsuccessful. In this episode, …
 
Problems of environmental justice and water equity haven’t historically received proper coverage by traditional media. And if they did get in the news, chances are the reporter didn’t look like the impacted population. That’s changing in Baltimore and around the Chesapeake Bay, where a nonprofit is helping young people in communities of color to te…
 
Despite the direct and often disproportionate impacts of water problems on Latinos in California, there was historically a lack of water knowledge and advocacy by the leaders in their communities. That led to the creation of an organization to educate and motivate Latino local elected officials across the state. This level of government is the clos…
 
Thousands of water utilities across the U.S. are smaller and under-resourced, often leaving them consumed by daily operations and unable to take on projects to increase efficiency and reduce costs. But external experts can help these utilities to triage pressing challenges and then turn to strategic improvements, as discussed in this episode with G…
 
Traveling presents the opportunity to make observations about many aspects of the world including about water. In this episode, waterloop host Travis Loop discusses his summer trip to Germany and a variety of ways that water caught his attention in cities such as Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Munich. Topics include public refill stations, bottled water…
 
Artificial intelligence has emerged as a powerful tool in the fight to find lead water lines in the U.S., which could number up to 10 million and pose a threat to human health. The use of AI allows for much more accurate predictions of the location of lead lines by using a variety of factors such as the age of a house, size of the property, and pre…
 
Many of the one million people in California who lack access to safe and reliable drinking water are Latino agricultural workers living in small communities throughout the state’s Central Valley. Despite agriculture’s reliance on them as a workforce, the industry uses vast quantities of water and often pollutes resources. Change is difficult becaus…
 
Some coastal communities experience flooding of low-lying areas on sunny days due to exceptional high tides. The frequency and severity of these events, also called blue sky flooding or nuisance flooding, are increasing due to sea level rise and are projected to triple in the U.S. by the year 2050. Sunny day flooding is discussed in this episode wi…
 
As climate change and other crises strain water supplies, more attention is being paid to the water footprint, the amount of water used by an individual or household over a certain period of time. A water footprint includes the water that is directly used by taps, showers, toilets, and household appliances, as well as for outdoor uses. But the wate…
 
As an historic flood devastated Yellowstone National Park and downstream communities in Montana, the U.S. Geological Survey was busy measuring streamflows, monitoring equipment, sharing data, and even making repairs in the field. Early data shows the flood could be a one in 500-year event and the gauge just outside the park measured water levels 50…
 
A new report finds that the 2.2 million people in America who live without running water or a toilet at home is costing the U.S. economy over $8.5 billion a year. The biggest impacts to the GDP come from lost productivity, time lost at work or school to access water, physical health impacts, water purchase costs, and mental health impacts. In this …
 
In Baltimore, there are vast, disturbing differences from neighborhood to neighborhood in factors such as employment, education, crime, and life expectancy. While it will take a wide variety of efforts to address the root causes, an effort is underway to evaluate how green stormwater infrastructure could provide benefits for residents and improve e…
 
It took thousands of years for the Mississippi River to build the coastline of southern Louisiana and its vast network of wetlands and bayous. It only took several generations of people to disrupt the natural, land-building flow by controlling the river with concrete and levees. Now a state-of-the-art, 10,000 square foot physical model is used to p…
 
The water industry is often described as conservative, risk-averse, and slow to change. That behavior and accompanying acceptance of the status quo frustrate Will Sarni, Founder and CEO of the Water Foundry, who believes the industry needs disruption, particularly to tackle “wicked problems.” In this episode, Will explains how the government could …
 
Note: This episode is in Spanish. Watch it with English subtitles or read a transcript in English at https://bit.ly/TwoNationPark The Rio Grande River serves as the border between the United States and Mexico and in many ways keeps people apart. A historic project is underway to create a binational park along the river in Laredo in Texas and Nuevo …
 
Hundreds of millions of people around the world that lack water and sanitation spend money and valuable time to get access. The market-based model of Water.org has helped 43 million people to use microloans to gain proper access to water and sanitation and then use the saved money and time to better their lives. The approach is discussed in this ep…
 
The Colorado River has been named the most endangered river in the U.S. by American Rivers, with the organization citing the challenges it faces from the impacts of climate change, outdated water management practices, overallocation of resources, and a failure to manage the river equitably. These problems and the overall state of the Colorado River…
 
Tremendous attention is paid to decisions, dollars, and officials at the federal and state levels, but local government is arguably the key cog in water management. Local leaders and staff are the ones ultimately spending funds, setting policy, and implementing programs that directly impact water resources and people’s daily lives. That’s why it is…
 
In many parts of the U.S., political partisanship and climate change pose challenges for environmental progress. Meanwhile, the Great Lakes have shown to be a place for rare bipartisan support for investing in clean water and healthy communities. Also, climate change could offer silver linings for the region, such as a longer growing season for agr…
 
The relationship between water and conflict has a long history. Sometimes a fight arises over water resources. Other times water is used as a weapon during war. In other cases water is collateral damage. The history is detailed in the Water and Conflict Chronology and discussed in this episode with Peter Gleick, President Emeritus and a Senior Fell…
 
Water is a rather simple chemical compound, with two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Yet this seemingly basic substance is necessary for all known forms of life, comprises two-thirds of the human body, and covers 70 percent of the Earth. Water also displays a wide range of unique behaviors, such as how it sticks to itself, goes against gravity,…
 
Before Hurricane Katrina, the work to protect and restore Louisiana’s coast was fragmented among various government agencies with limited budgets and little coordination. The devastation of the storm and continued catastrophic loss of land and wetlands spurred the formation of a central agency to coordinate all activities and funds as the state rec…
 
Utah is one of the driest states in the U.S. and the strain on water resources is growing as its population booms and climate change fuels aridification across the American West. But instead of aggressively advancing water conservation as other states are doing, Utah is brazenly rejecting that approach and pursuing costly infrastructure projects li…
 
The water industry functions better when the workforce has a diverse blend of backgrounds and perspectives. This includes having individuals that bring experience in public administration and a mindset of service to others. In this episode, Amanda Jones, Founder of Womxn in Water, discusses how her journey in government and focus on helping people …
 
The amount of plastic - trillions of pieces and millions of tons - in the ocean is one of the planet’s most daunting environmental challenges. But many people are undeterred and drawn to projects to address the pollution, some even traveling thousands of miles across the ocean to study the problem and starting organizations dedicated to solutions. …
 
The water challenges are serious for Navajo Nation, including one in three families lacking running water, impacts of climate change straining the land, and legacy pollution tainting some sources. But a spirit of resilience and leadership from within are steadily leading Navajo Nation toward a more sustainable water future. A focus on solutions ins…
 
Five decades ago, Cleveland was infamous for major water problems, including the Cuyahoga River catching on fire and Lake Erie being proclaimed dead. But the challenges attracted attention, resources, businesses, and problem-solvers. 50 years later, the city is an epicenter for water innovation and technology, as discussed in this episode by Bryan …
 
In 2014, a toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie forced the shutdown of Toledo’s drinking water system, cutting off the vital service for 400,000 people. In the years since, the City of Toledo responded by forging partnerships to monitor conditions in the lake, investing in upgrades to infrastructure and water treatment, and communicating in a transparent…
 
Illinois is the state with the most lead service lines for drinking water in the country, estimated to be between 700,000 and 1.4 million, with a large number of those found in Chicago. But in 2021, the efforts of a diverse coalition of stakeholders led to passage of landmark legislation that made Illinois one of only two states to require replacem…
 
Wilmington, North Carolina is home to the USS North Carolina, a retired World War II battleship that is open as a museum that draws over a quarter of a million visitors each year and serves as a memorial to the North Carolinians who died in the war. But now this special piece of American history faces an unlikely challenge - water. That’s because b…
 
The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater ecosystem in the world, containing over 20 percent of Earth’s surface freshwater. This makes the Great Lakes an incredibly unique and critical place for water research, including in the areas of invasive species, microplastics, emerging contaminants, and climate change. The opportunities to learn and devis…
 
Healthy and resilient coastlines depend on action by states to properly manage development and prepare for climate change. While the Surfrider Foundation’s 2021 State of the Beach report found only two-thirds of states performing at poor to adequate levels, nine states did improve their scores from last year. The highest scoring states had strong p…
 
Local government officials and staff responsible for water management often have limited resources and must avoid risk, putting them on the constant search for proven solutions that work for their peers. Enter The Atlas, an online community where they can browse case studies, follow topics, and crowdsource ideas and advice, as discussed in this epi…
 
Over time many property owners in New Orleans have replaced green spaces in favor of concrete and other impervious surfaces in order to gain more parking and reduce yard maintenance. The amount of hard surfaces contributed to serious flooding problems across the city. Now a program incentivizes homeowners to replace the pavement with grass and othe…
 
Managing water in New Orleans is a challenge because of the city’s unique hydrology, system of pipes and pumps, and intense rainfall events. Instead of relying only on traditional gray infrastructure, the city is embracing the use of green infrastructure to contain water, reduce flooding, transform public spaces, and beautify neighborhoods. The app…
 
Growing up and working in water in Puerto Rico, Yajaira Morphonios saw people who didn’t have access to clean drinking water and she gained a unique understanding of the essential nature of water services to the well-being of a community. Since relocating to Kentucky and continuing to work in the water industry, she holds onto her Puerto Rico exper…
 
Coastal communities need accurate, reliable, and accessible information on tides, particularly as they confront rising sea levels and need to adapt to flooding events. But federal gauges are spread out on the U.S. coastline, which leaves extensive areas in between without precise predictions and real-world tracking of tides. That vital information …
 
Resilience is one of the words frequently heard in discussions about water resources. But what does it actually mean? It’s important to have a common understanding of resilience, particularly as climate change accelerates water challenges and resilience becomes a critical goal, according to the Pacific Institute’s Jason Morrison, President, and Hea…
 
While precipitation like rain and snow get all the attention, the amount of evapotranspiration - water transferred from land and planets to the atmosphere - is also critical to water management. But there hasn’t been an effective tool for farmers, communities, and other water stakeholders to track evapotranspiration. Enter OpenET, a powerful platfo…
 
Historically the water industry preferred to be reactive in communications, especially in dealing with the media. That approach left utilities to play defense and often end up on the losing side of public relations. Now the winning strategy is to embrace proactive communications, build productive relationships with the media, and connect with custo…
 
An estimated 2.2 million people in America lack clean water and proper sanitation. These individuals are found all across the country - in indigenous communities, California’s Central Valley, the U.S.-Mexico border, Appalachia, the Deep South, and in urban neighborhoods. In this episode George McGraw, Founder and CEO of DigDeep, says it’s time for …
 
An estimated 2.2 million people in America lack clean water and proper sanitation. These individuals are found all across the country - in indigenous communities, California’s Central Valley, the U.S.-Mexico border, Appalachia, the Deep South, and in urban neighborhoods. In this episode George McGraw, Founder and CEO of DigDeep, says it’s time for …
 
For decades, advocates and activists have worked relentlessly to elevate water issues and drive policy changes and government funding. Now it seems water has risen to be a top priority, in large part because of those years of advocacy, crumbling water infrastructure, high-profile crises such as Flint, and the impacts of climate change like drought,…
 
Polling shows that large majorities of Latinos feel that outdoor activities involving water are a way of life, that protecting water is vital to their culture and the economy, and that the government should combat water pollution. Historically large environmental organizations haven’t represented the Latino community and that has led to the rise of…
 
The scope of waters covered by the federal Clean Water Act - called Waters of the U.S. - is one of the most complex, controversial, and contentious issues in environmental policy. Waters of the U.S. has been the focus of Supreme Court rulings, lobbying and litigation by stakeholders, and rulemakings by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under…
 
Brewers are seeing the impacts of climate change on essential ingredients for beer. Unusual temperatures and precipitation are damaging crops like barley and hops while water resources are stressed by drought or polluted by algae blooms and wildfires, as explained in this episode with Katie Wallace, Director of Social and Environmental Impact at Ne…
 
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