• 8,000 lakes.    900 springs.
    1,700 rivers and streams.
    10 million acres of wetlands.
    In a state surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean,Water appears abundant. But is it?

    This project is an experiment in student journalistic storytelling. View the stories via the menu above, or highlighted stories below.

  • nakeded

    Naked Ed: Keeper of Lilly Springs

    A story by

    John Edward “Naked Ed” Watts was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. This disease made it too dangerous for him to work and he was put on government disability. Unable to work, Naked Ed wondered what he would do with his life. The answer came when he canoed down the Santa […]

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  • Ichetucknee Springs

    Fountains of Life: A Look at Florida Springs from Sacred Waters to Green Slime

    A story by

    There are more than a thousand natural springs in Florida. They are prehistoric, beautiful, world-famous, and draw thousands of visitors and millions of dollars to the state every year. On weekends, springs are crowded with people swimming, boating, enjoying picnics, or snoozing near waters, which hover at 72 degrees year round. The unsurpassed beauty has […]

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  • irrigation

    Smart Landscaping

    A story by and

    Erin Alvarez is a landscape instructor at the University of Florida Environmental Horticulture Department. Her teaching program is based in landscape management, which also includes public gardens management and a focus on landscape management issues. In this interview, Alvarez talks about the common mistakes some homeowners make when it comes to plant selection and irrigation […]

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  • learninggate

    The Future of Building: Inside a Net-Zero Water School

    A story by and

    On a grassy tract of land nestled in Lutz, Fla., alternative learning practices have become the norm at  Learning Gate Community School. In 2009 Learning Gate was the first public school to be awarded the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Platinum certification. The school focuses its curriculum on energy and water conservation, and serves as a […]

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Featured Stories

Naked Ed: Keeper of Lilly Springs

John Edward “Naked Ed” Watts was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. This disease made it too dangerous for him to work and he was put on government disability. Unable to work, Naked Ed wondered what he would do with his life. The answer came when he canoed down the Santa […]

Hurricane Wilma South Florida

Weather, Water, and Climate Change

Until recently, Floridians could count on a daily drenching sometime in the afternoon—except during a few cool, dry winter months. Long-time Florida residents note that those predictable daily storms are fewer in number and lighter in intensity. And they tend to be random rather than predictable. Climate change is increasingly affecting weather on a local level, so much so that the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently changed the plant hardiness zones for the entire country. Atmospheric conditions, fossil fuel emissions, warming ocean temperatures and local land use may be behind the vanishing afternoon summer showers.

Water Efficient Irrigation

Joe Floyd is one of four co-owners of Abundant Edible Landscapes. From fruit trees to rainwater collection systems, the company provides several services to homeowners who would like to develop their landscape with environmentally conscious features. In this interview, Floyd talks what irrigations systems could cut down your water bill in the long run, why […]

The Future of Building: Inside a Net-Zero Water School

On a grassy tract of land nestled in Lutz, Fla., alternative learning practices have become the norm at  Learning Gate Community School. In 2009 Learning Gate was the first public school to be awarded the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Platinum certification. The school focuses its curriculum on energy and water conservation, and serves as a […]

Audience at Adena Springs Ranch Piblic Forum

Water Permits in Profile: The Adena Springs Controversy

A request by Adena Springs Ranch, near Fort McCoy, Fla., to withdraw 13.2 million gallons a day from the Floridan Aquifer is being challenged by hundreds of people in north central Florida. Owners of the 30,000-acre cattle ranch have applied to the St. Johns River Water Management District to pump more water daily than the […]

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Agriculture vs. Water: Bottling the Consumptive Question

The fact that water bottlers in Florida get free access to water they package and sell — and therefore make 100 percent profit on the materials — is often a sticking point for conservationists. While giving away water bottling rights in a state expecting water shortages may seem to be the perfect illustration of bad […]