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Speech and Environmental Science Learning Community

This guide will provide research and resources to support students enrolled in EVR 1001 and SPC 2608 learning community.

Freshwater Resources

Conserving freshwater resources is vital to ensure a sustainable future for both human populations and ecosystems. Freshwater scarcity is a growing global concern due to over-extraction, pollution, and climate change, threatening access to clean drinking water and agricultural production. By preserving and efficiently managing freshwater sources, we can safeguard ecosystems, support agriculture, and secure a reliable supply of clean water for current and future generations.


Listen While You Learn

Stream these podcast episodes online in your browser or on your mobile device through the following apps: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify. Use the Listen Notes Podcast Search Engine to find additional podcast episodes about your topic. 

Freshwater Resources Podcasts

Freshwater ecosystems and their resident species have declined more rapidly than either terrestrial or marine systems and their species. Freshwater ecosystems face myriad stressors, from habitat loss and pollution to dams and climate change. Today I discuss the state of freshwater conservation science with Ian Harrison. Ian obtained his Ph.D. in systematic ichthyology at the University of Bristol in the UK. He has conducted research on marine and freshwater fishes in Europe, Central and South America, Africa, the Philippines, and the Central Pacific. He has worked for Conservation International and the IUCN’s Global Species Programme since 2008 and he is currently the freshwater specialist for Conservation International’s Moore Center for Science. Ian publishes extensively on the biology and conservation of fishes and the conservation of freshwater ecosystems.

Pollution, altered flows and climate change are now placing what once seemed like endless supplies of fresh water at risk, leading to growing recognition of the importance of Indigenous water science.

Hydraulic fracking is the process of extracting natural gas from rocks in the earth by breaking them apart. chemicals are pumped into a targeted area and after the rocks are broken, gas is released up through a pipe and shipped off in a truck to whatever plant wants it. One of the many problems with fracking is that methane gas escapes during the mining process, polluted flow back water may get injected into a deep storage well recycled or sent to a treatment plant. fracking fluid is forced to underground at high pressure and toxic chemicals seep into the bedrock. The toxins in the bedrock seep into the drinking water aquifers and contaminate the water from the aquifers that enter the drinking water systems. 

Sewage is now discharged into our rivers and seas on a regular basis. It's joined by agricultural pollution and a host of microplastics. In this special debate programme, Tom Heap asks what's gone wrong with our water system. How did we get into this situation, what will it cost to put it right, and how can we go about sorting out the mess we seem to be in? Tom is joined by a panel of experts to discuss the history, the finances and the future of cleaning up our waterways.

Water covers over 70% of the world’s surface, but only 0.5% of the earth’s water is available as fresh water. Water pollutants are causing irreversible damage to ecosystems and global warming is adding to the burden. Are we too late to clean up this mess?

Returning to the podcast to discuss water desalination is Mark Holtzapple. Mark is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University where he researches technologies that improve sustainability. With close to 30 years of experience as a researcher, Mark is constantly finding new ways to turn waste into useful products. So what’s his take on obtaining fresh water from saltwater? 

In this episode, you will learn about:

  • What desalination is, and how Mark got started working with it.
  • Techniques used to desalinate water, and how they have evolved over the years. 
  • How reverse osmosis contributes to water desalination. 
  • What vapor compression technology is, and why this may be the future of energy-efficient water desalination.

Imagine a world where freshwater is as plentiful as seawater… With the work that researchers like Mark Holtzapple are doing, this idea may be more realistic than you may think!

Research Database

Use this library database to search for research articles about your topic. See below for featured articles to get started on learning more about your topic. 

Find full-text articles in: Applied Science & Technology Source, General Science Full Text, and GreenFILE.

Freshwater Resources Books