Water. It’s an essential building block of life, constantly moving in a hydrologic cycle that flows in a continuous loop above, across and even below the Earth’s surface. But water is also constantly moving through another cycle — the human water cycle — that powers our homes, hydrates our bodies, irrigates our crops and processes our waste. The tight connection between water, food and energy makes them dependent on one another.
Our increasing need for these three vital resources is forcing us to rethink how we manage and use our water supply. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has joined with NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, to release a four-part video series, the “Human Water Cycle,” that explores the connection between water, food and energy.
Wastewater is what gets flushed down the toilet, rinsed down the drain, and produced by places such as factories, workplaces, and homes. Kartik Chandran at Columbia University is changing the perception of wastewater by treating it more efficiently and creating energy from resources found in it.