The Water Project

The Ongoing Effects of Toledo’s Water Crisis

In 2014, Toledo, Ohio experienced a severe water crisis caused by toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie. The height of the crisis — when the city’s drinking water was shut down for half a million residents — only lasted three days, but the effects of the crisis continue to impact residents today. Each time we turn on the tap water, pay water bills, sit on a boat or fish in the river, the ecological imbalance that reared its head in 2014 affects our lives in subtle — and often unequal — ways.
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America has a fresh water problem. Here’s why.

America's fresh water is in danger. The Great Lakes hold roughly 20% of the world’s surface freshwater, and Lake Erie alone provides drinking water to more than 11 million residents in the United States. But serious water quality, access and infrastructure problems are threatening our fresh water future.

“Invisible Infrastructure”: How Aging Water Systems Impact Lake Erie’s Water Quality

We turn on the tap to get water, and we flush the toilet to send it away. But the “invisible infrastructure” behind these conveniences is a system that’s not only complex, but also problematic in a world where increasingly unpredictable weather patterns are straining our aging infrastructure.

“Water is Life”: Connecting Communities to Lake Erie’s Waterfront — And Its Future

Cuyahoga County has about 32 miles of Lake Erie shoreline — but only 10% of that is currently publicly accessible. Travel just over 100...

A Cautionary Tale, Twice Over: Surface Water Quality on Lake Erie

“They’ll walk on their fins and get woefully weary, in search of some water that isn’t so smeary, I hear things are just as...

Dear Erie III.

As the Great Black Swamp was drained and cut down acre by acre, a manmade tile and ditch system took its place. At the...

Ohio Scientist Rattan Lal on How Soil Could Help Solve Global Environmental Crises

Award-winning scientist Rattan Lal’s fascination with soil goes back to childhood on his family’s farm in India; he marveled at the soil’s ability to produce food and wondered why it needed to be plowed when it got compacted over time.

Dear Erie II.

You might be surprised to know that much of Northwest Ohio was largely under water until the 1900s. Fourteen thousand years ago, this area...

Dear Erie I.

It's been nearly seven years since the 2014 harmful algal bloom crisis. Lake Erie is one of the world’s largest freshwater resources, and yet...

What‘s Keeping Lake Erie Green? Part I: Agricultural Land Use in the Maumee River Watershed

Despite rather quiet media attention over the last six years, Lake Erie’s algae problem hasn’t improved since Toledo’s 2014 nationally-known water crisis; each summer,...

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