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2014 flood in the Detroit metro area. Image via Flickr by Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. CC BY-ND 2.10 DEED

Ghost Streams and Redlining

By Jacob Napieralski. In 2021, metro Detroit was hit with a rainstorm so severe that President Joe Biden issued a major disaster declaration at state officials’ request.

Nearly 8 inches of rain fell within 24 hours, closing every major freeway and causing massive damage to homes and businesses. The storm was of a severity historically seen in Detroit every 500 to 1,000 years.

Establishing the financial worth of a river’s fish is complicated when many people don’t sell the fish they catch. Image via Unsplash, by Jandira Sonnendeck.

How much is the world’s most productive river worth?

How much is the world’s most productive river worth? Here’s how experts estimate the value of nature: Southeast Asia’s Mekong may be the most important river in the world. Known as the “mother of waters,” it is home to the world’s largest inland fishery, and the huge amounts of sediments it transports feed some of the planet’s most fertile farmlands. Tens of millions of people depend on it for their livelihoods.

University research has a legacy of doing harm to Indigenous communities. However, a new collaborative project is showing how research can be done in a better and inclusive way. (Shutterstock)

Collaborative Indigenous Research

Collaborative Indigenous Research is a way to repair the legacy of harmful research practices A recent disclosure from Harvard’s Peabody Museum has brought attention, yet again, to the need to rethink the relationships between universities and Indigenous communities. Recently, the Peabody Museum announced that it has been holding locks of hair collected throughout the 1930s from more than 700 Indigenous children forced into residential boarding schools in the U.S…

Kenyan women carry water buckets filled with water on their heads during World Water Day after fetching the water at one of the illegal freshwater points in Mathare slums in Nairobi, Kenya, 22 March 2019. International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of highlighting the importance of freshwater and its management. The theme for the World Water Day In 2019 is 'Leaving no one behind', highlighting whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right. EPA-EFE/Daniel Irungu.

Time and Trauma

Through interviews, surveys and focus group discussions with 258 households in Mathare during 2016 and 2017, I found that women faced huge challenges and trauma in collecting water. Besides the woes of finding a running tap and wasting valuable time waiting in queues, procuring water entails physical hardship that often leads to mental agony that sometimes even threatens the women’s safety.

Jean Bonneville and Joanne Richardson at the Old River Control Auxiliary Structure in spring 1992. Image courtesy of John and Alta Fossum.

Meeting the Atchafalaya

The Mississippi River flows mostly south from its most northern reaches in Minnesota through the heartland of the United States down to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico, collecting and distributing commerce and culture with a multitude of tributaries and distributaries. The river itself is dynamic and changeable, flooding, avulsing, and remodeling its banks and channels continuously. Tentatively held in place with levees, dams, and floodways, this dynamic river is held somewhat in check, allowing towns and farms to reach right to the river’s edge, and providing some continuity and control for navigation of the famous river barges that carry a wealth of commodities up and down the river…