As part of its periodic survey of the compelling work by digital journalists using data and multimedia, Reporter’s Toolbox looks at some favorite projects in the last year or so. On the list are granular maps and spinning globes, compelling photo essays and clickable storytelling. But the heart of the best digital journalism, Toolbox reminds us, is that it matters. And these do.
Water & Oceans
Toilet-to-tap water jokes aside, the technology and economics of turning sewage into potable drinking water is increasingly seen as a remedy for water-stressed communities. The new BookShelf review of “Purified: How Recycled Sewage is Transforming Our Water,” explains how water shortages, climate change, unsustainable growth and other factors have led some communities, most recently Los Angeles, to consider going “all in” on purified wastewater.
While the first offshore wind turbine started sending power into the U.S. grid just last month, and the renewable power source has enthusiastic support from the Biden administration, the industry has been slowed by politics, high interest rates and supply chain problems. But the latest Issue Backgrounder explores why offshore wind can be expected to succeed.
"Scientists have long wondered whether the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is a ticking time bomb in terms of sea level rise. New evidence from the DNA of a small octopus that lives in the Southern Ocean suggests that the ice sheet is indeed at risk of collapsing, according to a study published on Thursday in the journal Science."
"Inspired by the Dutch model of living with water, New York’s coastal defenses are on the rise. The city — like others around the country — is combining infrastructure like floodwalls with nature-based features, as it moves ahead with the largest resiliency project in the U.S."
"The agreement was hailed as a win for climate action, but Pacific campaigners say it is too little too late in a rapidly warming world".
"A Biden administration auction of Gulf of Mexico drilling rights raised $382 million on Wednesday as oil companies claimed offshore acreage for what is set to be the last time until 2025."
"When a toilet is flushed in California, the water can end up in a lot of places: An ice skating rink near Disneyland, ski slopes around Lake Tahoe, farmland in the Central Valley. And — coming soon — kitchen faucets."
"BlueTriton Brands owns Poland Spring, Arrowhead and other bottled water brands. As it tries to grow, experts worry sensitive springs, creeks and groundwater supplies from Florida to California are paying the price."
"Environmental advocates and industry groups pointed out that any reduction in leasing area would make clean energy and emissions reduction targets more difficult to achieve."