Water Hub Blog

Salute to water solutions: Seven of our 2023 favorites

Photograph of a sunset over a lake with bright pink and orange clouds reflected in the water.

What is more audacious than hope? Recently, we looked back at the solutions journalism we loved this year. So, to inspire your vision for the world you want to live in, here are seven of our favorite water solutions stories from 2023:

Millions lack access to running water. Is the solution hiding in plain sight? – Nick Aspinwall in the Washington Post

Local solutions that tackle multiple problems at once are the sweet spot of climate and water justice. They often work with nature, are community-driven with max community benefit, and can be scaled up, to boot. Before we met Brad Lancaster at the One Water Summit in Tucson last month, his story of rain farming in the Southwest inspired us.

How beavers could help the Colorado River survive future droughts – Stephanie Ebbs for ABC News

Call them ecosystem engineers or the water world’s most charismatic rodent, but our team has it bad for beavers. As part of ABC’s series on the Power of Water during Earth Month, we learned all about how beaver dams capture water in high alpine headwaters, slowing water down, storing it naturally in the landscape, and building wildfire resilience. Groups like the National Forest Foundation are mimicking beaver activity in low-tech solutions that bring similar benefits and, hopefully, attract beavers back to their natural ecosystems.

How ‘Unbuilding’ Can Help Weather Climate Disasters – Laurie Mazur for U.S. News & World Report

When it rains, it pours, and communities full of concrete and asphalt face flooded roads and basements. That is why the next phase of infrastructure spending should be focused on “unbuilding” and follow the leadership of activists living in overburdened neighborhoods. By giving water places to slow down and spread out while adding additional benefits to communities through green space.

Black Joy Can Be Found in Nature’s Simplicity – Adam Mahoney in Capital B News

Adam Mahoney’s coverage of the water crises and environmental racism faced by Black communities is a must read. But, working for a healthier planet and future is hopeful stuff. For this list it’s a joy to share stories from six people in California and beyond connecting with family, community, and expanding access to nature.

As the Climate Crisis Escalates, Here Are 18 Food and Ag Solutions – Civil Eats

Is it a cop out to share a round-up on a round-up? Nope, we made the rules! We love Civil Eats’ coverage of food systems, farmers calling for climate action, and the power of regenerative agriculture to weather climate impacts.

The Surprising Power of Wastewater Wetlands – By Bryn Nelson for Yes! Magazine

Shifting from man-centered to nature-inspired systems is a no-brainer, but few articles unpack  how human stewardship might nurture new ecosystems like this piece. Featuring constructed wetlands that clean waste water in Oregon, California, and Arizona, take a look at how constructed wetlands filter, replenish groundwater, and create habitat.

Tribes guard the Klamath River’s fish, water and lands as restoration begins at last – By Deb Krol in the Arizona Republic

20 years ago, warm waters and toxic algae decimated the Klamath’s fish populations. Now, after a years-long fight led by advocacy from Tribal nations of the Klamath, the largest dam removal project in U.S. history is underway. This 5-part series covers the Yurok people and other Tribes along the Klamath working to restore the water, salmon, and cultural touchstone.

What’s next?

This list is by no means comprehensive (for a thorough reflection, be sure to check out Circle of Blue’s annual Year in Water)! But, we hope you’re left with inspiration for a new water future.

If you have a favorite water solutions story, find us on LinkedIn and Twitter/X and let us know!

The Water Hub