The Biden administration banned mining on more than 225,000 acres of federal land near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for the next 20 years, blocking copper-nickel sulfide mining from potentially polluting the interconnected waterways of Northeastern Minnesota. [In July 2022, the Investigative Reporting Workshop produced an in-depth look into two of the proposed mining …
When Ward Walker moved to the seaside village of Stebbins, Alaska, in 1995, he was told there would be running water within the next five years. The 63-year-old, who recently retired as vice mayor of the village of roughly 650, now says he’ll be happy if it happens before he dies. Stebbins became Walker’s home …
The green economy creates a tug-of-war in Northeast Minnesota, where companies seeking mining rights for critical minerals challenge those who want to protect pristine waterways.
The convergence of two rivers in Des Moines, Iowa, is a bullseye illustrating the connection between climate change and toxins in drinking water. Legislation and litigation haven’t worked. So the Des Moines Water Works is getting into the farming business.
From the archives: A recent PBS FRONTLINE program produced in collaboration with NPR and IRW examined the ballooning plastic waste worldwide and what industry experts knew from the outset what was and wasn’t possible to recycle.
Energy companies and big industry are drawing vast amounts of water from northwest Louisiana. And the withdrawals are allowing salt water to move in, threatening the main source of drinking water for a growing population of more than half a million.
While climate change has brought an abundance of water to Louisiana from above, it also threatens valuable water below — the groundwater in the state’s aquifers that the majority of the population relies on for drinking water.
The Southern Hills aquifer’s water is clean and pure. Baton Rouge residents brag about its taste. And industries prefer it because it’s cheaper to access than river water, which needs expensive treatment. But the aquifer is being depleted faster than it is being replenished.
A centuries-old law gives Louisiana landowners “ultimate dominion” over the groundwater beneath their property. That means farmers, manufacturers and homeowners can take as much as they want, when they want it — no fees required.
Groundwater levels in and around Louisiana are falling faster than almost anywhere else in the country, according to USGS data and an investigation by IRW and WWNO/WRKF.