News

2016

February


January

A new report claims if the rate of plastic pollution in oceans continues to increase, plastic garbage could outweigh fish by 2050.

2015

January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November

Somewhere between 15 trillion and 51 trillions pieces of plastic litters the world’s oceans, a new study has found. That’s three to 10 times more plastic than scientists had previously estimated.

December 9th, Microplastics: Rhine one of the most polluted rivers worldwide - ChemEurope
Between Basel and Rotterdam, the Rhine has one of the highest microplastics pollution so far

December 3rd, 7 Beverages Found In Refillable Containers In Cascadia: Could the Milkman be Making a Comeback? - Sightline
Refillable beverage containers were a common phenomenon until the mid-20th century—in 1947, 100 percent of soft drinks came in refillable glass bottles.


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November


November 28th, What Comes Out in the Wash - New York Times
ASK most people about the problem of waste plastics in the environment and they will talk about plastic bags caught in trees and the vast slicks of plastic trash found in remote areas of the Atlantic and Pacific. But the most menacing plastic waste problem is less visible and not so well publicized.
Snowpacks are a vital source of water for humans, but they may shrink in some regions as the climate warms. A new study estimates how changes in showfall will affect water supplies.

In an effort to cut back on water bottle waste, the National Park Service is making a change. Nineteen National Parks have stopped selling bottled water at their concession stands, offering public water bottle filling stations instead.

November 13th, How declining snowpack threatens water supplies - The Christian Science Monitor
A new study examines how far-reaching effects of diminished snowpack could be.

November 1st, Los Angeles considers officially 'drought shaming' water violators - Grist
City considers new measures against those who use more water than they should, including publicly naming and shaming perpetrators.

October


October 29th, Plastic Contaminates Table Salt in China - Scientific American
Supermarket products have tiny plastic particles, probably from ocean pollution attached to sea salt.

October 28th, Lingering Drought Heightens Worries of Extinction for Salmon - Associated Press
Another deadly summer of drought has heightened fears of extinction in the wild for an iconic California salmon, federal officials said Wednesday.

October 26th, 'Garbage patches' of marine plastic have reached the Arctic Ocean - Arctic Newswire
The AWI scientists say this is actually the first study to show that plastic waste is floating around on the surface of Arctic waters.

October 21st, Buying bottled water for your health? Stop it - Grist
But if you need another reason to put down the bottle and turn on the tap, there’s this: Bottled water is actually worse for you than tap water.

October 16th, Plastic debris, textile fibers found in fish sold at markets - Seattle Times
Researchers California and Indonesia are reporting some of the first findings of plastic debris and textile fibers in fish on consumers’ dinner plates.

October 15th, Come Get That Plastic, Bae: Pharrell’s Game Challenges Ocean Pollution - Take Part
The musician thinks that after they play his game, people will think twice before tossing a plastic bottle into the ocean.

October 13th, Tell Nestle: Unbottle California - The Story of Stuff
In the midst of California’s historic drought, Nestle Waters—the largest bottler of water in the world—is drawing millions of gallons of water a year from the San Bernardino National Forest. Nestle’s permit to remove this precious resource expired in 1988, at which point the Forest Service should have turned off the spigot.

October 13th, Nestlé lawsuit claims food and beverage giant is illegally bottling California water
Environmental groups claim Nestlé is breaking federal law by operating on an expired permit to remove millions of gallons of water from a southern California forest despite the state’s historic drought.

October 10th, Seven Species of Sea Turtles are at Risk of Plastic Pollution - Science World Report
Sea turtles may have more risks than researchers once thought. Scientists have found that all seven species of marine turtles that they studied can ingest or become entangled in the discarded debris that currently litters the oceans.

October 1st, Plastic oceans: What do we know? - BBC News
As England prepares to introduce a charge for plastic bags - long after many other countries - it's a good moment to catch up on the latest research into plastic in the oceans.

Plastic has infiltrated the ocean’s ecosystem, from plankton to whales.

October 1st, 'We can't relax our guard,' state water official warns as conservation effort lags - Los Angeles Times
Thursday, state water officials said that regardless, residents must continue conserving just as if no rain or snow were to occur.

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September


September 30th, Plastic in fish highlights need for cleaner Thames - BBC
Up to three-quarters of fish sampled from the River Thames have been found to have plastic fibres in their gut.

Small plastic water bags may be one of Haiti’s safest and most affordable ways to hydrate – but once discarded, they contaminate its streets and rivers. Now one organisation is cleaning up the capital, Port-au-Prince, and putting this trash epidemic to good use.

September 26th, There's a One-in-Four Chance the Fish You Just Ordered Contains Plastic - AlterNet
Researchers find plastic trash in a variety of species tested at California docks and Indonesian fish markets.


September 25th, Dramatic climate shifts require attention to forests, water - The Olympian
This year has been a bellwether of the challenges to come: Washington has endured one of our most erratic crop seasons, our hottest summer, and our worst drought and wildfire season.

Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article36608370.html#storylink=cpy

September 24th, Investors Are Mining for Water, the Next Hot Commodity - New York Times
“Investing in the water industry is one of the great opportunities for the coming decades,” said Matthew J. Diserio....“Water is the scarce resource that will define the 21st century, much like plentiful oil defined the last century.”

September 21st, Nestle critics expecting battle over anti-bottled water ballot initiative - The Oregonian
A group of Hood River County residents want voters to decide whether the Nestlé corporation should be allowed to bottle and sell water from the Columbia River Gorge. 

September 21st, Study: Twice as much trash put in landfills than estimated - Associated Press
It turns out that on average America tosses five pounds of trash per person per day into its landfills, according to an analysis of figures from the same study, which is based on actual landfill measurements instead of government estimates.

September 15th,  More than half the world’s sea turtles have eaten plastic, new study claims - Washington Post
The new study, led by Qamar Schuyler of the University of Queensland and published in Global Change Biology, estimates that 52 percent of sea turtles worldwide have eaten plastic debris, some 13 million tons of which is dumped into the ocean every year.

September 15th, Feds: Arctic sea ice levels shrink to 4th lowest level - Associated Press
Summer Arctic sea ice shrank to its fourth lowest level on record this month, dispelling faint hopes of a recovery, federal scientists said.

September 14th, Study Finds Snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada to Be Lowest in 500 Years - New York Times
The snow that blanketed the Sierra Nevada in California last winter, and that was supposed to serve as an essential source of fresh water for the drought-stricken state, was at its lowest levels in the last 500 years, according to a new study.

September 13th, Governor declares state of emergency amid Northern California wildfire - Washington Post
The Valley Fire began Saturday afternoon about 100 miles north of San Francisco. By Sunday morning, it had burned more than 40,000 acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

September 12th, Summer 2015 set to be world's hottest ever as US temperatures again soar - The Guardian
...as part of the climate warming trend globally, next Thursday a federal agency is set to announce the latest worldwide figures that are likely to show that it was officially the hottest summer ever recorded on the planet, and the hottest first eight months of the year to date.

Glaciers across the North Cascades could lose 5 to 10 percent of their volume this year, accelerating decades of steady decline. One scientist estimates the region’s glaciers are smaller than they have been in at least 4,000 years.

September 8th, Light shed on the underside of the 'cocktail effect' of endocrine disruptors - Phys.org
Every day we are exposed to many exogenous compounds such as environmental pollutants, drugs or substances in our diet. Some of these molecules, known as endocrine disruptors, are strongly suspected of interacting inappropriately with regulatory proteins in our cells, and inducing numerous physiological or metabolic disorders (cancers, obesity, diabetes, etc.). Moreover, the combination of these molecules in complex mixtures with which we are in routine contact might exacerbate their toxicity.


September 7th, 8 states running out of water - USA Today
...higher than average summer temperatures and patchy rainfall over the summer has contributed to one of the worst wildfire seasons on record. There are currently at least 60 large fires burning across the country. So far this year, more than 8 million acres have been destroyed by fire, a level of devastation seen in only six other years since 1960.

ONCE again our state has set a grim record. For the second summer in a row, we are experiencing the largest forest fires in our state’s history. Nearly 1 million acres have burned, hundreds of homes have been lost, and most devastating, three firefighters lost their lives fighting the blazes that blanket North Central Washington.

September 2nd, California Orders Company To Stop Bottling Water From Sierra Springs - CBS Sacramento
Armed with evidence captured by surveillance cameras, California regulators have ordered a business to stop tapping Sierra Nevada spring water that is later bottled and sold in stores, officials said Wednesday.

September 2nd, Nearly Every Seabird on Earth Is Eating Plastic - National Geographic
Plastic trash is found in 90 percent of seabirds. The rate is growing steadily as global production of plastics increases.

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August

Birds are eating ‘astronomical’ amount of marine debris they mistake for fish eggs, with the biggest problem areas near Australia and New Zealand.

August 28th, Worsening Wildfire Seasons Tax the Forest Service - NPR
This has been one of the worst — and most expensive — wildfire seasons ever in the Northwest, where climate change and a history of suppressing wildfires have created a dangerous buildup of fuels.

The group says the company failed to get proper permits and will be violating land-use provisions if it carries out its plan this fall to tap Big Springs, which burbles out through lava tubes at the base of California’s largest volcano.

August 23rd, Washington state's wildfires rage beyond 600,000 acres - LA Times
Twelve uncontained fires in Washington covered more than 600,000 acres Sunday, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Gov. Jay Inslee’s office said more than 200 homes had been destroyed and 12,000 homes remained threatened.

August 19th, Continued drought to hurt ag, wildlife most - San Diego Union-Tribune
If the drought continues, 18 native fish species appear to be at high risk of extinction in the wild, the report stated. This includes some salmon and steelhead, along with other fish across the state.

August 13th, Chemicals not thought to be carcinogenic may still cause cancer when combined - Yahoo
“Research has been focused on looking at individual chemicals that can cause cancer on their own, but now we’re learning that might be only one piece of the puzzle,” he says. “It may be that combinations of those chemicals may initiate enough hits against our cells that they help develop cancer.”

August 9th, When our river turned orange - High Country News
[The spill] was, most likely, a disaster waiting to happen and the most visible manifestation of an emergency that's been going on in the Upper Animas River Watershed for decades.

August 8th, Los Angeles' brilliant move: 96 million balls will cover reservoir and save $300 million - DW News
The city of Los Angeles has completed the pouring of 96 million "Shade Balls" into the Silver Lake reservoir in the city, a move which should prevent water from evaporate and protect the reservoir from dust, rain, birds and chemical changes.

August 8th, Asia’s water supply under threat from climate change - Pakistan Today
Many countries are already experiencing an increasing scarcity of water, particularly during dry seasons, and climate change will exacerbate this situation.

August 7th, Puerto Ricans Learn How to Live Without Water Amid Punishing Drought - Weather Channel
Puerto Ricans are being forced to learn how to live without water thanks to a severe drought that is forcing businesses to temporarily close, public schools to cancel breakfast service and people to find creative ways to stay clean amid sweltering temperatures.

August 7th, How Did EPA Trigger A Million-Gallon Spill Of Mine Waste Water Near Silverton? - Colorado Public Radio
EPA workers accidentally triggered the spill of 1 million gallons of mine wastewater at the abandoned Gold King Mine near Silverton. The plume of muck got into Cement Creek, and then the Animas River.

August 5th, The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here - Rolling Stone
The worst predicted impacts of climate change are starting to happen — and much faster than climate scientists expected.

August 3rd, Toxic Algae Blooming in Warm Water From California to Alaska - ABC News
A vast bloom of toxic algae off the West Coast is denser, more widespread and deeper than scientists feared even weeks ago, according to surveyors aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel.

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July


July 30th, Park Service to Big Water: No federal funding for bottled water bans? We’ll find our own money, thanks. - Washington Post
Park officials said they have such strong support for these bans that they would go it alone with help from friends and allies: the nonprofit groups that donate to park projects and the companies that have been selling the bottled water in the first place.

July 28th, Warm water killing half of Columbia River sockeye salmon - Register-Guard
More than a quarter million sockeye salmon returning from the ocean to spawn are either dead or dying in the Columbia River and its tributaries due to warming water temperatures.

July 24th, Nestle bottled water plant in the Gorge: Where it stands - KGW TV
The world's largest food and beverage company wants to build a plant in the tiny, scenic town of Cascade Locks [Oregon], bottling spring water in a 250,000-square-foot facility and loading up the plastic bottles on semi-trucks for distribution.

July 22nd, Santa Barbara to spend $55 million on desalination plant as drought 'last resort' - LA Times
Santa Barbara City Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved spending $55 million to reactivate a mothballed desalination plant that could provide the city with nearly a third of its drinking water.

July 17th, The Value of Water on the West Coast — And Why California Is So Screwed - Vice
From the parched rivers of California to the brown lawns and raging wildfires of British Columbia, the value of water along the West Coast has become hard to ignore.

July 17th, John Boehner blames Obama for California's record drought - Sun Times
In a Facebook Post Tuesday Boehner posted a link, urging people to see what “Congress is doing to end President Obama’s man-made water shortage in the West.”

July 17th, Will Our Demand For Food Threaten Our Supply of Water? - NPR
Ecologist Jon Foley says agriculture is the "most powerful force unleashed on this planet since the end of the ice age." He says we're using too much of it to irrigate, and we have to rethink how we farm.

July 17th, Officials say drought conditions worst in Washington recorded history - Yakima Herald
“We have never experienced a drought like this,” said Maia Bellon, director of the state Department of Ecology. “It is remarkably worse than the drought of 2005 or 2001... and there is no end in sight.”

July 16th, Chris Christie Is Turning Tap Water Into a Private Commodity - The Nation
The Water Infrastructure Protection Act (WIPA), signed by Governor (and presidential candidate) Chris Christie in February, empowers municipalities to sell their water utilities to private corporations without a public vote.

July 14th, Global warming is causing rain to melt the Greenland ice sheet - The Guardian
Higher temperatures are melting Greenland ice directly, but also indirectly via increased rainfall.

July 13th, How Big Water is trying to stop the National Park Service from cleaning up plastic bottles fouling the parks - Washington Post
Big Water has stepped in to block the parks from banning the plastic pollutants — and the industry found an ally on Capitol Hill to add a little-noticed amendment to a House spending bill that would kill the policy.

July 9th, The madness of drinking bottled water shipped halfway across the world - The Guardian
We can’t get enough of it, but the long-term environmental impacts of bottling and transporting water across countries are doing more damage than we realise.

July 9th, Selfridges bans plastic water bottles in oceans conservation initiative - The Guardian
Move will affect 400,000 single-use bottles a year in food halls and restaurants, in effort to cut plastic waste and raise awareness of threat it poses to oceans.

July 8th, We don’t trust drinking fountains anymore, and that’s bad for our health - Washington Post
Fountains were once a revered feature of urban life, a celebration of the tremendous technological and political capital it takes to provide clean drinking water to a community. Today, they’re in crisis.

July 6th, Plankton snacking on plastic caught on camera for the first time - New Scientist
Cole and his colleagues have seen that a range of zooplankton, including crab and oyster larvae, consume these microplastics.

July 6th, Putting some myths about California’s drought to rest - Sacramento Bee
Two myths are hindering the development of effective policies to manage California’s water supply.

July 5th, Burning rain forest raises concern about future - Seattle Times
In this hot, dry summer, even the Queets rain forest in Olympic National Park is burning. It’s a rare spectacle, but one that could become more common.

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June


Microplastic particles move up marine food chain on B.C. coast: research - Vancouver Sun
June 30th, tiny marine organisms that mistake plastic for food allow microplastics to pass up the food chain, along with the chemicals they harbor, to many different species of marine life, and possibly including humans.

How A Historical Blunder Helped Create the Water Crisis in the West - NPR
June 25th, in 1922 the states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, and California reached an agreement on dividing the waters of the Colorado River, the only problem is that the states were promised more than the water that actually exists.

Bottled water recalled over E. coli concerns - USA Today
June 23rd, Niagra bottling is recalling fourteen brands of bottled water due to possible E. coli contamination at one of their plants.

New NASA data show how the world is running out of water - Washington Post
June 16th, underground aquifers supply 35% of worldwide water use, and twenty-one of the world's largest thirty-seven aquifers have been dangerously depleted in the last ten years.

California Cuts Farmer's Share of Scant Water - New York Times
June 12th, with snowpack at a historic low, seniors water rights holders, some with claims dating back to 1903, face water usage cuts in California.

Our Fate is Tied To Our Ocean - Huffington Post
June 8th, a round-up of the importance of our oceans as a resource, and ways humanity, with overfishing, plastic, and carbon dioxide, are harming our marine lifeblood.

A Better Way For California to Water Its Farms - Wired
June 5th, dry-farmed grapes and tomatoes are less expensive to maintain, better protect the soil, and most importantly use much less water than traditionally irrigated farms. Other techniques like drip irrigation, micro emitters, or carefully choosing crops, provide possible alternatives for an increasingly water scarce world.

Fracking not a 'widespread risk' to drinking water: U.S. EPA - Reuters
June 4th, a U.S. EPA report draft five years in the making concludes that fracking is not a widespread risk to drinking water, but notes that water contamination and other health risks do occur as a result of fracking.

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May


Our Water-Guzzling Food Factory - New York Times
May 30th, an opinion on the management of water for agriculture, the largest user of water in California.

Scientists say plastic pollution in Great Lakes poses problems beyond cluttered beaches - Star Tribune
May 28th, scientists met at the University of Vermont to assess the threat of plastic in the Great Lakes. About 80% of the pollution in the Great Lakes is plastic, some of that debris is too small to see, and most plastic can harbor toxic chemicals.

New federal rules on stream protection hailed, criticized - Associated Press
May 27th, the United States EPA and Army Corps of Engineers released new federal rules to better clarify which steams and tributaries are protected under Clean Water Act regulations.

Nestle Bottled Water Plant Draws Fight in Drought-Stricken Oregon - Bloomberg Politics
May 26th, negotiations between Nestle and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Natural Resources began in 2008 and are still ongoing, and generating more opposition. Nestle is still attempting to acquire the rights to Oxbow Springs in Cascade Locks, a town of 1,235 people.

Washington Governor Declares Drought Emergency - New York Times
May 15th, Jay Inslee declares a statewide drought emergency, citing snowpack levels at 16% of average, which will impact summer irrigation supplies, as well as the potential for a severely dangerous wildfire season.

Nestle Waters' CEO will 'absolutely not' stop bottling water in California — 'In fact, if I could, I'd increase it' - Business Insider
May 14th, Nestle Waters' North America CEO, Tim Brown, refused to step down when called to re-examine Nestle's usage of water during a historic drought.

Nestlé says it will use less water at California plants - USA Today
May 14th, the same day Nestle Waters' CEO claims he would like to increase bottling operations, a statement from Nestle claims the company will invest in new technologies to help conserve water at their California plants.

Ban Bottled Water? Industry Scrutinized in Parched California - NBC
May 11th, the bottled water industry is being analyzed during a time of drought in California. Although there may be more egregious overuses of water in the state, the industry still faces criticism for their questionable tactics including bottling water from a national forest without a valid permit.

Blame Cognitive Biases When Efforts To Conserve Water Aren't Effective - NPR
May 5th, a researcher on human behavior found that people are more likely to opt for curtailment solutions to try and reduce their water use (taking a shorter shower, for example). They found that the most effective water saving strategies, however, usually involve efficiency solutions that incur a one-time expense, like installing a low-flow toilet.

Fracking chemicals detected in Pennsylvania drinking water - New York Times
May 4th, a study found household drinking water in a Pennsylvania town was contaminated with a common fracking chemical likely the result of a faulty drilling well.

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April


Starbucks bottled water plant draws ire from drought-stricken California residents - Puget Sound Business Journal
April 30th, Starbucks' Ethos brand water, a product supposedly trying to help solve the world water crisis, pumps water for free in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Nestlé Waters: Bottled water is not contributing to California’s drought - San Bernardino County Sun
April 28th, a Nestle Waters North American official writes that Nestle bottles an amount of water equal to two California golf courses over the course of a year, and that their operations are not contributing to the drought.

Forest Service: Expired Nestle Water Permit A Priority - The Desert Sun
April 11th, an investigation in March discovered that Nestle is bottling water in the San Bernardino National Forest with a permit that expired 27 years ago, now the U.S. Forest Service is looking into the issue.

ODFW agrees to new approach for Nestle bottled water plant in Cascade Locks - The Oregonian
April 10th, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife agreed to give rights to the water flowing out of Oxbow Springs, which is used to supply an endangered salmon hatchery, over to Nestle for bottling water.

Mediterranean Sea 'accumulating zone of plastic debris' - BBC News
April 2nd, a survey found around one thousand tonnes of plastic floating in the Mediterranean.

California Imposes First Mandatory Water Restrictions to Deal With Drought - New York Times
April 1st, California's governor imposes mandatory water restrictions for the first time in the history of the state.

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March


Plastic microbeads: A toxic substance in waterways from the Great Lakes to the Arctic - Alaska Dispatch News
March 27th, research shows that the Great Lakes have concentrations of microplastics as high as those in the major oceanic gyres in addition to findings that show that Arctic sea ice is another sink for manmade plastic particles.

Plastic pellets found in puffin tummies - CBS News
March 27th, Scottish researchers discovered that puffins are ingesting plastic pre-production pellets, adding to the list of species shown to eat toxic plastic.

Activists 'Shut Down' Nestlé Water Bottling Plant in Sacramento- Daily Kos
March 27th, protesters blocked the entrance to a Nestle bottling plant disagreeing with their favorable treatment from the local government and their unsustainable water usage during a time of drought.

Surprise Finding Heightens Concern Over Tiny Bits Of Plastic Polluting Our Oceans - Huffington Post
March 23rd, scientists have been finding that plastic is in everything: deep sea sediments, coral reefs, crab gills, the digestive systems of mussels, German beer, and now, even in the scales of fish, both farmed and wild.

Should bottled water companies sell national forest water? - CBS MoneyWatch
March 20th, despite major water shortages in California, Nestle has been pumping out groundwater from the San Bernardino National Forest with an invalid permit that expired 27 years ago.

Prince Charles calls for end to dumping of plastic in world's oceans - The Guardian
March 19th, Prince Charles says our our "throw-away society" is having a major impact on the ecology of the world's oceans.

California is pumping water that fell to Earth 20,000 years ago - Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting
March 9th, "As California farms and cities drill deeper for groundwater in an era of drought and climate change, they no longer are tapping reserves that percolated into the soil over recent centuries. They are pumping water that fell to Earth during a much wetter climatic regime – the ice age."

California Orders 12 Oil-Field Wells Shut to Protect Groundwater - LA Times
March 3rd, California officials order 12 oil-field wells, including some used in hydraulic fracturing, to stop operating due to concern of groundwater contamination.

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February

Ocean waste hits home: Plastic-filled fish guts ruins Chilliwack man's catch - The Province
A steelhead trout caught on the Vedder River in British Columbia contained a stomach full of dangerous plastic particles likely ingested at sea.

Corals on the Great Barrier Reef Eat Plastic. And That's Bad - Planet Experts
Scientist have long suspected that a wide range of marine life ingest microplastics, new research adds corals to a growing list of incidental 'plastivores'.

Study Finds Rising Levels of Plastics in Oceans - The New York Times
A recent study pinpoints which countries are likely responsible for the most plastic waste cast off into the oceans.

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January


The Politics of Drinking Water - The Atlantic
A history of tap water shows how the growth and importance of clean tap water in the United States reflects the status of the nation.

The Unlikely Champion of a Water Bottle Ban - The New York Times
A story of how Xanterra Parks and Resorts, which operates concessions for many National Parks, is championing efforts to promote tap water, despite losing revenue from their choice not to sell bottled water.

Water and Classical Civilizations - Crash Course Word History
John Green explains how water's life-giving power has influenced the course of world history.

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