The Takeaway

Water Shortages Spark Fights Over Access to H2O

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The U.S. is experiencing an increasing frequency of water supply problems—from dry conditions in California to strong drought conditions in Texas. David Sedlak, co-director of the Berkeley Water Center and author of "Water 4.0: The Past, Present and Future of the World's Most Vital Resource," looks back at the history of this most precious resource. Two water-rights lawyers, Sarah Klahn, and Stuart Somach, show us how droughts play out in the courtroom. 

Comments [8]


NYC's Water Tanks Filled With Bacteria?

Monday, January 27, 2014

New York City often brags about having the best tap water in the country, but an investigation by The New York Times reveals that some of the city's wooden rooftop water tanks tested positive for E. Coli and other bacteria.


The Takeaway

Water in America: In the Tap We Trust?

Friday, January 17, 2014

How did America’s water system get the way it is today? Martin Melosi, author of The Sanitary City and professor of history at the University of Houston, explains. Jennifer Weidhaas, assistant professor of Environmental Engineering at West Virginia University; Mark Davis, director of the Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy at Tulane University Law School; and David Soll, Assistant Professor in the Watershed Institute for Collaborative Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, provide a snapshot of what the water is like in three different regions of the U.S.

Comments [10]


Born Wet, Human Babies Are 75 Percent Water. Then Comes Drying

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A fresh tomato is 93.5 percent water. A fresh baby girl or boy is 75 percent water. A banana, 74 percent. We all start wet, and then, inevitably, dry. A 1-year-old baby carries 10 percent less water; a male adult 15 percent less. Life is a slow evaporation, with some curious exceptions.

Read More

Comments [4]

Life of the Law

Water Rights

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When a serious drought hit just months after an Oregon court awarded senior water rights to the Klamath Tribes, the tribe made a ‘call’ for water. The call meant enough water in its rivers and streams to keep the Upper Klamath Lake full,


The Brian Lehrer Show

The Right Amount of Water

Friday, September 13, 2013

The First Lady is encouraging Americans to drink water as part of her Drink Up campaign, but some in the medical community are pushing back against the idea of uniform hydration advice. Douglas J. Casa, chief operating officer of The Korey Stringer Institute, and a professor of kinesiology at the Neag School of Education at University of Connecticut, explains what is known about how much water is the right amount to drink and what listeners can do to stay hydrated.

Comments [20]


It's OK to Open that Fire Hydrant... But Just a Little Bit

Friday, August 02, 2013

In a hot summer day, for those far from the beach, or a lake, there is always the fire hydrant. But open hydrants waste water and make it hard for firefighters to do their jobs. That's why the city is trying to get more people to take advantage of a safer alternative that allows them to open hydrants just a little.

Read More



Finding Fun in the Water: Map Your Favorite Beach

Friday, July 19, 2013

As part of our summer series on finding fun in the water, WNYC wants your help in mapping the best beaches in the city -- or a short trip away. 

Pick your spot on the map, and explain what you like about it. Photos and audio are welcome.

Comments [1]

The Takeaway

Drought in New Mexico Town Leaves a Village Without Water

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Magdaelna, a village in Socorro County New Mexico has a small population of around 1000 people. This month, the town ran out of water. Residents only had 24 hours of notice before the tap water was turned off. Fronteras reporter Monica Ortiz Uribe went to Magdalena and got a chance to speak to the locals about the drought. She joins us today from Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Comments [2]

The Brian Lehrer Show

Middle Aged Suicide Rates; NJ Good Samaritan Overdose Law; NYC Water History; College Bubble

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The suicide rates for middle-aged people have spiked. Paula Clayton, medical director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention explains. Plus: Tom Moran of the Star-Ledger discusses the new Good Samaritan drug overdose law and the politics behind it; the political history of New York City's water supply; and the college cost bubble.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Aquifer Pollution

Thursday, January 31, 2013

ProPublica reporter Abrahm Lustgarden talks about Mexico City's plans to tap a mile-deep aquifer for drinking water, raising new questions about existing U.S. policy that allows water that’s deep underground to be intentionally polluted.

Comments [4]


Snowflake Science

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snowflakes 101 -- inspired by the snowflake story in Radiolab's new episode Bliss, a little backstory on how snowflakes form. Plus lots of sparkly pictures.

Read More

Comments [10]

The Takeaway

A Two-Mile Island in the Wake of Sandy

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Only on rare occasions do the inhabitants of New York touch the water, and usually, it’s because the water is being brought to them through a strange meteorological event like a hurricane. Phillip Lopate is an American film critic, essayist, fiction writer, poet, teacher, and lifelong New Yorker who's well-acquainted with Manhattan’s peculiar relationship with the water.

Comments [1]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Environmental Impact of Flooding

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Phillip Musegaas, Hudson River Program Director for Riverkeeper, discusses the environmental impacts of urban flooding from Hurricane Sandy.

Comments [1]

Transportation Nation

PHOTOS: Sandy Halts Transportation, Floods Roads

Monday, October 29, 2012

We'll be updating this throughout the storm. Send your photos to or @transportnation.  'Cause we'd like to share them.

The entrance to the downtown 1 train at Broadway and 79th Street (photo by Kate Hinds)

Bike delivery workers still on the job as of 3:30 pm on Amsterdam Avenue (photo by Kate Hinds)

Bicycling in a hurricane on Columbus Avenue (photo by Kate Hinds)

from @DriversWantedNY: "NYC: subway is closed,airport is closed,but TAXIS r open.Raza working since 4am & now taking a $1bus home."

Photo from @DavidKesting

A tree fell on NYC Council member Brad Lander's Brooklyn home. (via @BradLander at 5:43pm)

From the NY MTA: Metro-North Railroad runs patrol trains to survey its tracks during and after storms. As Hurricane Sandy approached, this train struck a tree across the tracks and was briefly halted. (photo courtesy of MTA Metro-North Railroad)

Hatches are battened down at the South Street Seaport. Monday afternoon. (Photo by Alex Goldmark)

from NY Governor Cuomo's twitter account at 4:46pm: severe conditions at Rockaway, waves slamming into the bay wall.


Large floating debris and white caps under the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, Monday afternoon. (Photo by Alex Goldmark)


Rising water at Harlem River Park (photo by @HessMatthias)

Clinton Hill Rooftop overlooking The Brooklyn Navy Yard. (Photo by Jamie Boud)


The Hudson River at 3:30pm Monday (photo by Kate Hinds)

Entrance to the Holland Tunnel, 2:30 pm (photo by Richard Yeh)

The Croton River Bridge at about 1:15pm. It carries Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line over the Croton River. Water has risen up to the level of the bridge. (Photo courtesy of MTA Metro-North Railroad / Robert Stinson)

The Island Park LIRR station tracks already largely under water as of 1pm Monday (photo by Alfonso Castillo via flickr)

Battery Park, 12:22pm Monday (photo by Jim O'Grady)

The flooded FDR Drive at noon Monday (photo by Caitlyn Kim)

Another view of flooding on the FDR Drive (photo by Caitlyn Kim)

Wait -- is that an MTA bus?? Never mind, it's for the police. (Photo by Caitlyn Kim)

Atlantic City (photo via @Mouselink)

A runway at JFK Airport in Queens, with water encroaching (photo courtesy of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey)

The view from Battery Park at 11:40am Monday: Statue of Liberty, rising waters (photo by Jim O'Grady)

The Broad Street subway station in lower Manhattan, sealed up (photo by Jim O'Grady)

Transit officers Romaniello and Wright in front of a sandbagged subway station (photo by Jim O'Grady)

The PATH station at the World Trade Center. The whole system is shut down. (Photo by Jim O'Grady)

(photo by Jim O'Grady)

An inflatable 'bladder" at the entrance to an office building (photo by Jim O'Grady)

Sandbags in front of the New York Stock Exchange (photo by Jim O'Grady)

More sandbags outside the Stock Exchange (photo by Jim O'Grady)

The Williamsburg Bridge on Monday morning -- light traffic, some bikes (photo by Jim O'Grady)

Sign taped to an M79 bus on Sunday (photo by Kate Hinds)

The Bronx Bees hives were getting ready for the storm on Sunday (photo via @BronxBees)

Manhattan's 79th Street Boat Basin, Sunday afternoon (photo by Kate Hinds)

Read More

Comments [2]

The Takeaway

How the Drought Can Help Us Rethink Water Use

Monday, August 20, 2012

Our nation's water system generally works so well that for many, it's invisible. The pipes lay hidden beneath the ground and when Americans turn on their faucets, the water flows at little cost. How can a drought help us re-imagine the way we pay attention to, use, and conserve water?

Comments [2]


In City Pools, Keeping Conditions Sanitary Is a Daily Struggle

Monday, July 16, 2012

It’s a perennial concern for summer pool goers, one lampooned last week as the latest of McCarren Park pool’s ongoing problems: fecal matter in the water.

Comments [3]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Why We Love the Water

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lynn Sherr discusses the joys of swimming and the effect it has on our lives. Swim: Why We Love the Water looks at how swimming has changed over the millennia, how this ancient activity is becoming more social today, and our relationship with the water.

Comments [6]

The Takeaway

Michigan's Blue Economy

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When people think of Michigan's economy, they generally think of places like Detroit and Flint, and of the state's once great automobile manufacturing sites. But Martina Guzmán of WDET takes a closer look at the economic benefits of one of the Great Lakes State's most tried and true resources: water.

Comments [1]


DEP Proposes 7 Percent Water Rate Hike

Friday, March 30, 2012

Water rates could go up by 7 percent for about 836,000 customers in New York City beginning on July 1.