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Water

Global Classroom connects ACES students with peers around the world

Partnering with peers across three continents, ACES students worked to solve global water problems under the instruction of three lecturers located in Germany, Brazil, and the U.S.

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The little algae that could: algal growth helps clean up toxic wastewater

URBANA, Ill. – You may not want to see algae spreading a green carpet on your favorite lake. But in toxic wastewater, tiny algal organisms become potent powerhouses that eat nutrients and produce oxygen, helping to convert poisonous sludge to reusable biomass.

A new study from the University of Illinois explores growth and viability of four different algae species in wastewater from biocrude oil production.

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Illinois, Nebraska scientists propose improvements to precision crop irrigation

URBANA, Ill. – With threats of water scarcity complicating the need to feed a growing global population, it is more important than ever to get crop irrigation right. Overwatering can deplete local water supplies and lead to polluted runoff, while underwatering can lead to sub-optimal crop performance. Yet few farmers use science-based tools to help them decide when and how much to water their crops.

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How the humble woodchip is cleaning up water worldwide

URBANA, Ill. – Australian pineapple, Danish trout, and Midwestern U.S. corn farmers are not often lumped together under the same agricultural umbrella. But they and many others who raise crops and animals face a common problem: excess nitrogen in drainage water. Whether it flows out to the Great Barrier Reef or the Gulf of Mexico, the nutrient contributes to harmful algal blooms that starve fish and other organisms of oxygen.

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Global Classrooms initiative will connect ACES undergraduates with peers abroad for project-based learning

Undergraduates from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) will soon have the opportunity to work with other students around the world to support children’s health and design water projects. Thanks to the new Global Classrooms initiative and our faculty’s commitment to create such courses, these invaluable “international” experiences will be available from Illinois-based classrooms.

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Illinois residents value strategies to improve water quality

URBANA, Ill. ­– Illinois residents value efforts to reduce watershed pollution, and they are willing to pay for environmental improvements, according to a new study from agricultural economists at the University of Illinois.

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No-till practices in vulnerable areas significantly reduce soil erosion

URBANA, Ill. – Soil erosion is a major challenge in agricultural production. It affects soil quality and carries nutrient sediments that pollute waterways. While soil erosion is a naturally occurring process, agricultural activities such as conventional tilling exacerbate it. Farmers implementing no-till practices can significantly reduce soil erosion rates, a new University of Illinois study shows.

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U.S. agricultural water use declining for most crops and livestock production

URBANA, Ill. – Climate change and a growing world population require efficient use of natural resources. Water is a crucial component in food production, and water management strategies are needed to support worldwide changes in food consumption and dietary patterns.

Agricultural production and food manufacturing account for a third of water usage in the U.S. Water use fluctuates with weather patterns but is also affected by shifts in production technology, supply-chain linkages, and domestic and foreign consumer demand. 

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Richard Cooke receives Fulbright grant for rice productivity research in Sierra Leone

URBANA, Ill. ­­– Richard Cooke, professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Illinois, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award for the 2020-2021 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

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Contextual engineering adds deeper perspective to local projects

URBANA, Ill. – When engineers develop drinking water systems, they often expect their technology and expertise to work in any context. But project success depends as much on the people and place as on technical design, says Ann-Perry Witmer, lecturer in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) and research scientist at the Applied Research Institute at University of Illinois.

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