water

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Susan Bence

The art exhibit called “Water Works” opens Friday evening at RedLine Milwaukee.

The show's curator, environmental activist and artist Melanie Ariens, chose more than a dozen artists to explore how deeply water affects our lives.

“I tried to find a balance of artists whose work conveyed a spiritual or emotional connection to water and artists who take a more activist approach to addressing water issues,” she said.

Milwaukee Community Sailing Center / facebook.com

Milwaukee has no shortage of ways to enjoy the water: Kayaking along its rivers, swimming in Lake Michigan, fishing off a breakwall, taking a boat tour of the harbor, or river-cruising to a favorite riverside restaurant or bar.

There’s still one option that we haven’t mentioned – and it’s one that’s been around for almost the longest: sailing. Drive over the Hoan Bridge on a pleasant summer day, and you’re bound to see a picturesque scene of Milwaukee’s lakeshore, complete with puffy white sails dotting the harbor.

Eddee Daniel

What started as conversations five years ago evolved into Milwaukee Water Commons. While science and business opportunities were important in those initial discussions, the group wanted to broaden their reach to get the entire community involved in protecting a common resource — water.

There has been a lot of effort in the last decade to denote Milwaukee as a so-called “world water hub.” To date, many companies that research water and water-related technology have chosen to locate in the region, but the importance of water to the area is hardly new. 

Susan Bence

Forty-eight Lake Bluff Elementary School students spent much of their third grade year learning about stormwater. They had a handy model outside their door.

A grassy soccer field used to occupy the northeast corner of the school yard, but was recently transformed to tennis courts, in honor of the school's recently retired principal.

However, what was thought to be a loving and activity-inducing project came with environmental headaches. The school district realized it had to meet Wisconsin stormwater drainage requirements.

In a much-watched case, a Michigan agency has approved Nestlé's plan to boost the amount of water it takes from the state. The request attracted a record number of public comments — with 80,945 against and 75 in favor.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Not all algae is toxic to humans and animals, but the type of blue-green algae growing in Milwaukee's Veterans Park lagoon is. Earlier this month, the city’s health department issued an advisory against coming into contact with the lagoon’s water.

Fecal Microbes Found in 60 Percent of Sampled Wells in Kewaunee County

Jun 8, 2017
Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Up to 60 percent of sampled wells in a Kewaunee County study contained fecal microbes, many of which are capable of making people and calves sick, two scientists told hundreds of local residents gathered at a public meeting Wednesday night.

The microorganisms included Cryptosporidium, a parasite that comes from both people and animals. Researchers estimated Crypto in drinking water is likely infecting 140 of the county’s 20,000 residents each year.

Susan Bence

Northeast Wisconsin's Kewaunee County is home to 16 large dairy operations. On those CAFOs, or concentrated animal feeding operations, are tens of thousands of cows, who produce lots of manure. Neighbors have become increasingly worried that, that manure is contaminating nearby wells.

Though the county hugs Lake Michigan, it’s what is underground that makes the area particularly vulnerable to manure ending up where you don't want it – in the water people drink.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Charles Fishman and Seth Siegel know a thing or two about water.

Fishman is author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water. Siegel wrote Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World.

They were among the 200 people interested in water issues who spent two days in Milwaukee this week. The draw was The Water Council’s 10th annual summit at which security was the theme.

malajscy / Fotolia

Ten years ago, Milwaukee’s first water summit took place under little fanfare. At the time, there was no Water Council and no Global Water Center according to Dean Amhaus, Water Council president.

MMSD

Out of sight and out of mind is the typical dynamic when it comes to the pipes that bring us drinking water, or the system that takes storm and waste water out of our homes and neighborhoods.  But things change when there’s a crisis.

Silverleaf Geospatial © OpenStreetMap contributors, © CARTO

The Natural Resources Defense Council released a report Tuesday on states with the most drinking water violations. And, Wisconsin was on the list.

States were ranked most at risk from over 100 contaminants, including toxic chemicals, bacteria and metals such as lead. The data was drawn from EPA records collected throughout 2015.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

One of the startups selected for this year's The Water Council's BREW Accelerator program was on display last week outside the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District headquarters.

Menomonee River water was being sucked up into the CORNCOB demonstration model – picture a water heater tipped on its side. A gleaming metal barrel connected to pipes and valves is being monitored by a sophisticated computer system.

Susan Bence

For many, Thanksgiving launches a season of holiday cheer and perhaps more eating than usual.

Water advocates are seizing the opportunity to try to turn people’s attention to our local watershed. How much of that Thanksgiving residue will wind up in local waterways?

Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Urban Ecology Center and Carroll University are partnering in the project, along with the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences.

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