Environment

What is safe drinking water? Is it water that's clear? Smells clean? Tastes good? Comes from a trusted source, like a well or a pipe?

Those factors don't matter if the water is contaminated by tiny microbes or parasites invisible to the human eye.

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The Obama Administration decided to spotlight the importance of water challenges facing communities and regions across the United States by hosting the first-ever White House Summit on Tuesday. 

The Water Council and the City of Milwaukee also announced Tuesday that the International Water Association, or IWA, hand-picked Milwaukee for its North American Regional Office.

When a doctor found that Kenicer Carty's 1-year-old daughter had a dangerously high level of lead last year, it triggered an alarm of sorts. Officials sent an inspector to Carty's 1930 row house in northeast Baltimore. It turned out that every single window had hazardous chipping lead paint.

On March 10, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee held a news conference at the Good Neighbor Healthcare Center in the part of Houston she represents. The mayor and a bevy of other state and local officials stood behind her.

Shackleton, Endeavour, Falcon and ... Boaty McBoatface?

These are some of the names that have been suggested for the United Kingdom's new state-of-the-art polar research vessel that's slated to take to the seas in 2019.

Can you guess which one is leading the vote?

Britain's Natural Environment Research Council asked the public to help think of possible monikers for the new world-class ship, urging them to look for "an inspirational name" that exemplifies the vessel's mission, a historical figure, movement, landmark or a famous polar explorer or scientist.

An Upside To Climate Change? Better French Wine

Mar 21, 2016

While climate change threatens coastal cities and generates extreme weather, the effects of global warming could bring good news to some of France's most esteemed vineyards.

Here, the conditions needed to produce early-ripening fruit, which is historically associated with highly rated wines, have become more frequent, according to research published online Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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Milwaukee-based startup Solar Water Works and Veolia Water Milwaukee/OptiRTC, Inc. have been selected to participate in The Water Council's Pilot Deployment Program.

The Fund for Lake Michigan and MMSD have pledged $600,000 over the next two years to fuel the program that will give the startups the opportunity to test and validate their products in the real world.

Donna Davis thought she had hit the jackpot with the two bags of mushrooms she collected in the woods of Northern California's Salt Point State Park. Instead, she ended up in the hospital, facing the possibility of a liver transplant, after mistakenly eating a poisonous mushroom known as the death cap.

As Californians hope for rain and snow to end the state's extreme drought, a decades-old rule prohibits reservoirs from filling up in the winter, so some water ends up being released.

The rule may sound odd given how chronically dry California is, but it's actually to prevent a bigger disaster: flooding.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hidden

About Sarah Parcak's TED Talk

Sarah Parcak is a pioneer in space archaeology. She describes her method of using satellite images to locate lost ancient sites.

About Sarah Parcak

There may be hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of undiscovered ancient sites — Sarah Parcak wants to locate them.

Can We Fall Prey To Hidden Parasites?

Mar 18, 2016

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hidden

About Ed Yong's TED talk

Science writer Ed Yong delves into the hidden world of parasites. He describes how parasites, once inside a host's body, become masters in the craft of manipulation.

About Ed Yong

What Hidden Underwater Worlds Are Left To Discover?

Mar 18, 2016

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hidden

About Robert Ballard's TED Talk

Ocean explorer Robert Ballard makes the case for exploring the deep oceans, where he is discovering new species, resources and mountain ranges.

About Robert Ballard

Could A Boiling River From A Childhood Legend Exist?

Mar 18, 2016

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hidden

About Andrés Ruzo's TED Talk

As a boy, Andrés Ruzo heard stories of a mythical boiling river. Years later, as a geoscientist, he recounts his journey deep into the Amazon to see if the river actually exists.

About Andrés Ruzo

Residents in Flint, Mich., are still living in a state of emergency, waiting for answers about the safety of their water.

After almost two years of bad drinking water, it can be hard for them to trust researchers and officials – except for a group of independent researchers from Virginia Tech who exposed the problem last summer.

"So we trust them. We don't trust nobody else," says Bishop Bernadel Jefferson, a resident of Flint.

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The Mid-West Energy Research Consortium, or M-WERC, is working to add Milwaukee to the energy tech landscape.

The group sprouted out of the interest of three universities and four industrial companies in 2009.

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