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A Lake Runs Through It . . . Or Is It a River? Or Something Else?
In the late 1990s, the town of Tempe, Arizona, proposed developing the dry riverbed of the Salt River into a lake that would become a recreational and economic focal point for the city as well as a potential tourist destination. The project presented a...

A Struggle for Power in China: The Three Gorges Dam
The Three Gorges Dam in China is one of the world's largest hydroelectric dams, providing energy for millions of people. However, the dam's construction forever altered the Yangtze River ecosystem and the lives of local residents. In this case study, s...

But It's Just a Bottle of Water
Bottled water, popular among students, is big business even though issues surrounding it related to health and safety as well as its environmental impact have stirred up controversy. Designed for an introductory non-majors environmental science course,...

Can Suminoe Oysters Save Chesapeake Bay?
This dilemma case explores the controversy over introducing non-native oysters to the Chesapeake Bay as a means of improving its ecological and economic health. Developed for use in an interdisciplinary doctoral program in energy and environmental stud...

Losing the Farm
In this case study, students examine hydrologic characteristics of a real farm property in northwest Georgia and calculate the volume of storm runoff expected for a typical storm using the U.S. Soil Conservation Service (SCS) method. The case is used t...

Moving to Higher Ground: Ecosystems, Economics and Equity in the Floodplain
Healthy river systems serve a wide variety of functions, including recreation, crop production, and navigation. Effective floodplain management requires integrating cultural, economic and ecosystem needs, and often tradeoffs must be made. This case stu...

One Glass for Two People
This case study focuses on the growing issue of water use rights in the southeastern United States. Approximately 1.3 million people in North and South Carolina depend on the Catawba-Wateree River for water and electricity. The river is also important...

The Dangers of Deicing
Loss of species richness is often due to anthropogenic activity. The global decline of amphibians is one such example. This case study examines the impact of road deicing agents on amphibians living near bridges and roads treated heavily with salt duri...

To Be or Not To Be a Golf Course in Wimberley?
This interrupted case study examines the tensions that a small town in Texas faces between economic development and the preservation of a natural water resource for which the town is known. It highlights the interdependence and tensions between economi...

White Bear Lake
This case study reviews the hydrologic cycle and uses a water balance equation to examine the hydrology of White Bear Lake, a 2,531-acre natural water body near St. Paul, Minnesota. Since 2004, lake water levels have fallen five feet below their ordina...