Using Storm Water Harvesting as a Water Management Tool in Saudi Arabia

by Chloe Soltis

The natural landscape of Saudi Arabia is quite dry and has few natural freshwater resources. Currently, the main freshwater source is desalinated seawater, a product that is expensive because it uses electricity generated from fossil fuels. In addition, a large portion of Saudi Arabia’s population has moved from rural to urban areas, which has changed the landscape’s inherent hydrology, causing large urban floods to plague the city once a year. Guizani (2016) believed that rain water harvesting could be a green solution to both of these issues. Continue reading

Using Scenario Planning as a Wildlife and Water Management Resource in the Florida Everglades

by Chloe Soltis

Water is one of the most important environmental resources in the Florida Everglades since the area’s landscape primarily consists of freshwater wetlands. In recent years, economic and agricultural development have reshaped and redirected headwaters to flow into the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico instead of the Everglades. This lack of water has left the area at risk of salt water intrusion and drought in addition to threatening its native wildlife populations. Catano et al. (2015) decided to create a model that predicts how climate change will affect the area’s different hydrologic factors and impact wildlife populations. Continue reading

Using a Freshwater Provisioning Index as a Water Management Tool

by Chloe Soltis

The majority of the world uses upstream water as its main resource for freshwater. Yet, pollution issues that result primarily from economic development continuously threaten these freshwater sources. Industrialized countries have the financial capital to engineer and build infrastructure such as dams and water treatment facilities to alleviate these issues. Developing countries do not have the means to build the same traditional infrastructure and therefore can struggle with proper water management. Green et al. (2015) realized the need for an integrated water management approach that accounted for different levels of social and economic development and decided to develop the freshwater provisioning index (FPIh). This index measures the amount of upstream freshwater resources available to the human populations living downstream while also taking into account global water source threats. Continue reading

Century-old Naturally Reclaimed Mining Site Preserves Regional Biodiversity

by Zoe Dilles

Native plants are flourishing unexpected at old abandoned gold mines in Southern New Zealand in spite of the fact that no landscape remediation was done. While natural reclamation through mine abandonment has historically been the default management strategy for mining sites around the world, the strict environmental policy of today typically mandates extensive site engineering after operations cease. Turning mine sites into usable land for agriculture, forestry, or recreation often entails time-consuming and costly rehabilitation measures such as topsoil replacement and replanting. Water management directs these approaches in arid climates because mine water evaporation as a product of unique geologic settings produces often undesirably saline soils. However, the salty soil of historic gold mine sites in the South Otago region provide rare naturally occurring saline habitats that are elsewhere jeopardized by expanded farming and new agricultural processes. Continue reading