New Video Series Explores the Future of Water

NBC Learn, National Science Foundation produce “Sustainability: Water” video series

NBC Learn Nation Science Foundation Water Sustainability Video Series

NBC News’ educational arm, NBC Learn, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have teamed up to produce a new informative video series that examines the long-term health of one of America’s most important resources: water.

“Sustainability: Water,” an original seven-part collection consists of detailed stories explaining significant challenges to managing the water supply in selected regions and cities across the U.S. These videos aim to help advance public understanding of the effects human activity and climate variability have on water and its distribution system.

The series highlights research funded by NSF and looks at the lives of scientists who are hard at work on projects designed to help pave the way to a more sustainable future. Each video features an NSF-supported scientist from a diversity of fields, geographic locations and institutions explaining a specific challenge and how these challenges are affecting the water supply. Each episode is available cost-free to teachers, students and the public at and NSF websites.

New “Sustainability: Water” videos include:

  • The Water Cycle — This video uses animation and graphics to explain each of the “flow” and “storage” processes in the Water Cycle: precipitation, interception, run-off, infiltration, percolation, groundwater discharge, evaporation, transpiration, evapotranspiration and condensation.
  • The Ogallala Aquifer — Scientist David Hyndman from Michigan State University is helping develop a plan to better manage the Ogalla Aquifer — the largest freshwater aquifer in North America — for sustainable farming.
  • Sierra Nevada Snow Pack & Snow Melt —Martha Conklin and Tom Harmon of the University of California, Merced use wireless sensor technology to more accurately measure snow pack and snow melt in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, so that state water managers can make better decisions on how to allocate this resource.
  • Dead Trees & Dirty Water in the Rockies — Hydrologists Reed Maxwell of Colorado School of Mines and John Stednick of Colorado State University are studying the impact of the beetle-killed trees on water quantity and quality in the Rocky Mountains.
  • Los Angeles & Water Imports — UCLA researchers Stephanie Pincetl and Mark Gold are studying how Los Angeles can reduce its water imports and better capture, store and reuse water.
  • Urban Streams in Baltimore — Claire Welty of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County is studying run-off through city water systems and “urban streams” in and around Baltimore, in hopes that a better understanding of the urban water cycle will help municipalities reduce or prevent watershed pollution.
  • Lake Erie and Nutrient Loading — Stanford University’s Anna Michalak, University of Toledo’s Thomas Bridgeman and Heidelberg University’s R. Peter Richards are among those studying how agricultural runoff, plus changes in precipitation, may increase nutrient flow into Lake Erie that can “feed” potentially dangerous algae blooms.
NBC Learn

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