natural resources

Acid Mine Drainage Remediation

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In this video, an environmental technologist visits an abandoned coal mine in Kentucky to talk about how a remediation system (a series of settling ponds and treatment cells) is neutralizing the acid drainage from the mine and preventing damage to a creek downstream. He shows the path of the acid drainage as it flows down a hillside from the mine into a settling basin and on to treatment cells where limestone is used to raise the water's pH. At a higher pH, iron and other minerals drop out of solution, which means that these harmful precipitates stay in the settling basins rather than flowing into the creek.

This resource is part of the Water Solutions collection.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

The Spokane Valley Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer

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KSPS Public Television has joined with the Idaho Washington Aquifer Collaborative to help educate residents in the Inland Northwest about the importance of protecting their sole source of drinking water—the Spokane Valley Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer.

This collection of videos provides an overview and exploration of the Spokane Valley Rathdrum Prairie aquifer, its importance to the Inland Northwest, how it works, how it can be damaged, and simple actions residents can take to protect and preserve the water from the aquifer.

Distribution and Uses of Water

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Learn about the distribution of water on Earth and how available and accessible freshwater is used and replenished by precipitation with this NASA video and graphic. Scale models in the video help students visualize the relative amount of each freshwater source. This resource provides opportunities for students to ask questions as well as plot and analyze data on the distribution and uses of water on Earth. 

Water | Science Trek

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Water is very powerful. Learn more about water, how we use it and what it means to the Earth.  Learn about the water cycle and why it's important to conserve water.

Is a Carbon Tax the Best Way to Slow Climate Change? | Above the Noise

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The UN’s latest report shows that climate change is happening a lot faster than scientists originally predicted. As a result, there’s a renewed interest in carbon taxes as a way to slow the effects of climate change. The problem is, it’s not always a popular solution as opponents argue it would unfairy hurt the poor--as we’ve seen play out in France lately with the Yellow Vest protests. Would a carbon tax work to fight climate change? Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

Water in the Sandhills | Platte Basin Education

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The water supply in the Sandhills depends on local precipitation, which is relatively low. Yet, there are several rivers, including the Niobrara, Dismal, and Loup Rivers that originate in the Sandhills, more than 2,000 shallow lakes, and over one million acres of wetlands in the areas between the dunes. Even during periods of drought, the Sandhills maintain reliable supplies of water.

Watershed | Episode 4: Balancing Act

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Water in the American West is a scarce resource allocated for multiple uses from urban drinking water to agriculture to habitats for endangered species. Journey east from high above the North Platte River across the region of Wyoming once called the Great American Desert, and see how the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation captures and releases water to irrigate millions of acres of farmland throughout one watershed.

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Watershed | Episode 5: Lifeblood

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Meet the ditch riders of western Nebraska. They have the little known, but vitally important job of monitoring canals in an area of the United States so arid the locals refer to the river there as the American Nile. Ditch riders hold the keys to valves that turn on and off the water that irrigates 60,000 acres of cropland. They also make certain that enough water is conserved and released to maintain habitat for endangered species downstream.

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Watershed | Episode 6: Groundwater Rising

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Like the snows in the high country of Colorado, groundwater is critical to the health of watersheds everywhere. Travel to a remote region of western Nebraska where rainfall is rare but wetlands abound as a result of the aquifer rising up from beneath.

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Watershed | Episode 8: Spring-Fed

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The Switzer family has been ranching atop the Ogallala Aquifer in the Sandhills of Nebraska for generations. As their family grows, their water needs grow. See how they have adapted to balance family and land for a sustainable future.

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