H2O Radio
Conservation and Sustainability

The Future of Water

Sustainability is the concept that current development meets the needs of the present without compromising the well-being of future generations. A key component of sustainability is conservation—water efficiency efforts that innovate to avoid waste in order to have adequate supply for the future. Conservation and sustainability also involve efforts to protect water quality to safeguard the habitat of wildlife and ecosystems upon which all life depends.

[ CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY ]

Clouds with a Silver Lining: Seeding Storms to Boost the Colorado River

There's a battle going on in the west—a campaign to close the gap between a growing demand for water and a shrinking supply. H2O Radio reports on a little known tactic being used to squeeze every last drop out of storms to win the war on drought. Get the Full Story>>

How to Avert an Alien Invasion? Turn to Man’s Best Friend

They're only about the size of your fingernail, but they're a scourge of mammoth proportions. Zebra and quagga mussels are tiny mollusks that have spread from their accidental introduction to the Great Lakes in the 1980s to plague water bodies from coast to coast. The invasive mussels are disrupting ecosystems, depleting food sources for aquatic life and damaging infrastructure. At present, there is no solution. Can they be stopped before they attack every lake and river in North America? If two black labs and a German Shepherd have anything to say about it—yes.  Get the Full Story>>

Democracy and a Sustainable Environment: A Conversation with
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

The environmental movement struggles daily to protect waterways, keep air clean, and ultimately stop the destruction of our planet. All over the globe people are organizing, for example: in North Carolina they work to mitigate pollution from industrial hog farms; in India citizens fight to keep garbage from being tossed into the Yamuna River; and, in China organizers try to find solutions to stop coal pollution. All of these localized efforts are part of a larger global attempt to create sustainable environments. What they all have in common is their requirement for success: a fully functioning democracy.  Get the Full Story>>

If Clothes Could Talk, Would They Talk Dirty?

It’s been said that "you can know the color of fashion's next season by the color of rivers in China." Fifty percent of global textile manufacturing in the world happens there and packs a mighty punch in terms of water consumption—and pollution. But the growing of fibers and the dyeing of fabrics is only part of the water footprint of textiles. Once a garment comes home with us from the store how much water do we use to wash it? And do we add to its toxic legacy? Is it possible to dress for sustainable success? H2O Radio investigates. Get the Full Story>>

The Hidden Costs of Road Salts

Road salts keep drivers safe in snowy and icy conditions. Chemicals like Sodium Chloride (Rock Salt) or Magnesium Chloride work by lowering the temperature at which water can freeze. But come Spring as snow melts, chlorides are making their way into steams and groundwater around the country where they stay. Removing them is difficult and costly. Are we trading mobility for environmental degradation?  Get the Full Story>>

The Galapagos of North America

Channel Islands of CaliforniaJust off the southern California coast lies a magical place of leaping dolphins, towering sea caves with painted ceilings and long stretches of isolated beaches. Only 60 miles away from over 18 million people who call the greater Los Angeles area home a remote archipelago beckons. Described as a "Living Laboratory" it attracts scientists and outdoor enthusiasts alike to see its wildlife and environment found no where else on earth. Venture out with H2O Radio to the Channel Islands National Park—"The Galapagos of North America"—where the mainland ends, and the adventure begins. Get the Full Story>>

Tank to Table: Growing Food Sustainably with Aquaponics

AquaponicsAquaponics is a food production system that combines aquaculture (raising fish in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. It’s a growing movement in Colorado where years of drought have made people in the state view water differently. We visit three locations using the method for the same—and very different reasons. Get the Full Story>>

Want to Save the Amazon? Think Like an Ant.

Yasuni AmazonYasuni National Park in Ecuador—the most biodiverse place on earth is at risk from oil development. A community of indigenous Kichwa people, rainforest caretakers for hundreds of years, think they know what's best for the Amazon and how to protect it. They've developed an award-winning model of preservation and sustainability that's providing the jobs, schools and healthcare they need. And all it took was having the mindset of a leaf-cutter ant. Get the Full Story>>

Changing Fixtures, Changing Lives

mile high youth corpsMile High Youth Corps (MHYC) is a nonprofit organization that provides pathways for young adults ages 18-24 to find a more promising future. Rooted in the tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, it addresses the employment and educational needs of youth by putting them to work in "green" jobs.

Corpsmembers provide water and energy efficiency measures to low-income households and nonprofit facilities. How can the work of installing high-efficiency toilets be "the best thing that ever happened" to these men and women? Get the Full Story>>

Acequias—Wisdom in the Ditches

Acequias—communal irrigation canals—were once the lifelines of agriculture in much of the southwest. Back in the time of Spanish colonialism they were widespread in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado.

Now they're mostly found in northern New Mexico and the San Luis Valley of Colorado. We spoke to acequia members in the Taos area during the annual "La limpia de la Acequia" or spring cleaning of the ditches to talk to them about how they think the system is faring in light of drought, water rights, and social change. Get the Full Story>>

Snow Job—The Hard Work of Measuring Snowpack

CurrentStory_SnowJobMelting snow flows into creeks and streams, and ultimately into drinking water for people living in the West. But understanding how much water snowpack will yield is much more complicated that it appears. It depends on many factors such as moisture content of the soil, precipitation patterns, winds, fluctuation in air temperature, and even water use by plants.

Since 1935, most of the West has relied on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's cooperative snow survey program to predict runoff. Snow surveyors from Natural Resources Conservation Service and the other cooperating agencies collect data from some 1,600 snow courses several times each winter. In 1977, NRCS began developing a network of automated radio telemetry data sites for collecting snow survey data, but some information is still collected manually involving long treks into remote areas, often in bad weather.

We tagged along with some of these quiet heroes who, quite literally, go to great lengths to understand just how much water will come out of your tap. Get the Full Story>>

Cowboy Conservation

Mark Glauth knows first-hand about wildfires. The ranch he runs with his sister near Woodland Park, Colorado was devastated by the Hayman Fire of 2002. Even though he grew up in a cow-calf operation, the disaster has taught him much about ranching. He's using a practice called "Holistic Management" in which livestock improve the health of soil and create the right conditions for grasses to thrive. He believes this method of ranching sustainably is a more effective way to restore the land and rehabilitate the watershed. It's a slow process, but he's starting to see the small green shoots of his labor. Get the Full Story>>

The Promise of Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is a system involving the controlled delivery of water directly to the roots of individual plants through a network of tubes or pipes. Its ability to save water and reclaim land is getting increased attention worldwide as populations grow and climate change taxes the availability of fresh water. Get the Full Story>>

All stories are available for download at PRX.org and Audioport.org. H2O Radio content cannot be broadcast, edited or reproduced without the permission of H2O Media, Ltd.

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The H2O Radio VISION
Raise awareness about threats to water supplies in order to protect this most vital resource on which all life depends.

The H2O Radio MISSION
Create programs that generate conversations about local, regional, and global water issues; educate about water efficiency and water quality protection; and inspire audiences to engage around sustainable solutions.

Journalism About Water and the Environment
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