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Major Issues

fracking trucksA comment I am hearing more and more often is how do I choose the most important issue to focus on. There are so many issues, most of us get overloaded and sometimes we become less effective. To help you through this process, I have listed some of these issues here and have pointed you toward ways to help address the ones that resonate with you the most. You don’t have to support them all, but (more…)

Where I went this summer – A guest post by Tim Bechtel

In addition to the need for all of us to take an interest in restoring our favorite places, it will be increasingly important for good science to be done to understand these natural system so we know what to do. Here is a good example of scientists and students studying an area in order to recommend to citizens and governments alike on what we can do to help restore the area’s groundwater. 

The Gottesacker (God’s Acre) Plateau on the border of Austria and Germany

by Tim Bechtel, Prof. of Geoscience at Franklin & Marshall College

alps 2The Gottesacker (God’s Acre) Plateau on the border of Austria and Germany is a very high alpine karst (limestone) terrane. It receives abundant rainfall, but is a rocky desert because the water soaks right in and flows underground in a system of caves and conduits, to emerge in large springs in the Kleinwalsertal valley below. Because the water soaks in and flows to the springs very rapidly there is little opportunity for the (more…)

Could Your Water Supply Be Cut off?

Photograph 2 Lake Erie Algal BloomThe loss of our water supply is not just a risk in dry areas where there is a very limited supply of water and water must be rationed during droughts (e.g., in California today). Losing access to potable water can happen anywhere. Last winter 300,000 residents of Charleston, West Virginia were told not to drink or bathe in their water. This past summer 400,000 Toledo, OH residents were told the same thing about their water coming from Lake Erie (http://www.weather.com/health/what-you-need-know-about-microcystin-toledos-water-toxin-20140804).  The irony of course is that there was plenty of water in these moist areas of the country. Water quantity is not the problem in the East. Water quality is.

The WV problem was the result of a 5000 gallon chemical spill (more…)