Living Daylights

| A great many rivers and streams in the US have been, over the last 150 years, confined within channels or buried altogether to keep them tame and allow development to proceed around them. In the last 20 years or so, the trend has somewhat reversed; we’ve realized that these concrete channels don’t allow for infiltration ... READ MORE

Bring Your Own Bottle

| My immigrant grandmother used to describe for me the little general store her father owned in their small town in the early years of the last century. Dry goods—flour, sugar, rice—and dried fruits like raisins were kept in bins or barrels. Customers scooped as much as they wanted into a paper bag, weighed it, and ... READ MORE

Why Aren’t We Doing More of This?

| Whenever you can get a double benefit from something, it’s worth a closer look. Protecting water resources and generating renewable energy are both important—and increasingly publicized—goals. A relatively simple and already-existing technology can do both things at once. But are there drawbacks? Several years ago, you might recall, Los Angeles deployed “shade balls” to cover ... READ MORE

The Olive Question

| Sometimes the choice between technologies isn’t clear. A new technique or an improved process saves us something in one area, but has a potential cost somewhere else. How to weigh the differences? Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have come up with a new way to perform a basic task that goes back thousands ... READ MORE

Squeezing Out the Competition

| Of all the problems plaguing the Florida Everglades—a century and a half of altered drainage patterns, nutrient-laden waters from sugar cane and other crops, political battles over restoration efforts—one stands out in the public’s imagination: snakes. The Everglades is infested with pythons. As this article (titled “Snakes on a Plain”) explains, giant Burmese pythons can ... READ MORE

Spider Sense

| As we’ve discussed many times here and in our sister publications, more cities, states, and countries are banning or restricting single-use plastic items—bags, straws, eating utensils, even plastic water bottles. Those efforts, intended to reduce plastic waste in waterways and landfills, are gaining momentum, but they beg the question “What are we going to use ... READ MORE

Solmax-GSE becomes Solmax

| 11 February, 2019 – Montreal.   Solmax-GSE, now the world’s leading geosynthetics company, will henceforth be known as Solmax. The return to the Solmax name and brand follows the successful integration of the Solmax and GSE Environmental businesses to form a single strong global entity—one that will reshape the industry, says the company. “Solmax is a ... READ MORE

Building (and Selling) Bridges

| As one of my colleagues pointed out recently, Infrastructure Week is coming up: this year it’s May 13–30, and as always, it’s a time for cities, counties, states, and private companies to highlight what they’re doing—and what’s still needed—to improve our nation’s roads, waterways, power grids, and much more. What new technologies are on the ... READ MORE

“A Water Sandwich”

| A group of students in New England is tackling a problem more and more of us will be dealing with—water from too many directions. Graduate students at the Conway School in Northampton, MA, are studying solutions for the coastal town of Mystic, CT, which is experiencing both higher-than-usual rainfall and a rate of sea level ... READ MORE

Setting the Stormwater Fee: How Much Incentive Is Too Much?

| As many other cities have done in the last several years, Norman, OK, is trying to put a stormwater utility in place—again. The city council wants to get the utility on the upcoming April 2 ballot, and it’s running out of time to finalize the details. At a meeting last week, council members made a ... READ MORE

A New Use for an Old Nuisance

| Algae is rehabilitating its public image. Although we tend to think of it as a water-quality problem—driving away tourists, threatening drinking water supplies, and creating dead zones—different varieties are being put to work for all sorts of beneficial uses. It’s being touted as a sustainable source of protein; proponents claim that algae can produce seven ... READ MORE