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Credit: Susanna Pershern, Submerged Resources Center, NPS
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CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY
Major Cities in the West Are Paying Residents to Take Out Turf to Save Water—With Two Notable Exceptions

There are over 40 million grassy acres in the continental U.S., and they take a lot of water to thrive. But in the West, where rainfall is less plentiful, many water providers have been offering rebates to residents willing to tear out turf and replace it with drought tolerant plants. The programs are working and thousands of gallons of water are being saved. So why are two major cities punting on the idea?
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ENERGY & INFRASTRUCTURE
Damned from the Start—Many U.S. Reservoirs Could Be Rendered Useless—And That Was Part of the Plan

We’ve heard about the deteriorating status of American infrastructure and most imagine crumbling bridges and potholed roads. But there’s another looming infrastructure crisis that’s getting little to no attention—and it will eventually impact everyone: America’s reservoirs are filling up with sediment. Their storage capacity peaked in the 1980s and it’s been going downhill ever since—sometimes with disastrous consequences. Listen now >
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ENERGY & INFRASTRUCTURE
The Dam Nobody Wants Just Won’t Go Away

The construction of dams on rivers worldwide has stopped the natural flow of sand and silt to the sea—resulting in coastal wetland loss and disappearing beaches—as well as preventing fish from reaching vital spawning grounds. But when the decision is made to remove a dam it can be remarkably challenging. Just ask the people of Ventura, California, who’ve been trying for 20 years—and are not much closer to ditching a dam that supplies no water but packs a lot of downsides—and risk. Listen now >

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Newscast for
June 28, 2020

The EPA is moving to craft exemptions for PFAS chemicals as another federal agency questions their connection to COVID-19.

It's not just oceans—fruits and vegetables have microplastics in them, too.

Programs that plant trees to mitigate climate change could backfire.

There might be a new method to desalinate seawater that's profitable and environmentally benign.

In the latest NASA challenge, you'll get bonus points for considering vomit in your design.

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Journalism About Water and the Environment
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