Project: Blue Ether

A reporting project from WUFT News and the UF College of Journalism and Communications

  • Photo by Jennifer Adler

Project: Blue Ether is a reporting and engagement project to explore the stories and science of water in North Central Florida. Project: Blue Ether is funded by the Online News Association.

WUFT News is publishing this multi-week series on water by University of Florida students, led by award-winning environmental journalist and author Cynthia Barnett, who is a visiting professor at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

Why Project: Blue Ether?

We are working in partnership with students in public interest communications and telecommunications to explore the use of gaming as a tool to build curiosity among residents about where our water comes from and how we affect it. Come play with us.

About the Game (Facebook)

Diving Into North Florida’s Water Story


Tree Ring Record: Recent Southeastern Droughts “A Drop In The Bucket”

The drought of the late 2000s sticks out in many of our memories as particularly severe. But in the scope of history, new tree-ring research shows, that big drought was not very big at all.

Read the Story

Following Florida’s Water: A Gallery

See the Photos

How Many Straws?

Lack of data on private wells keeps us from knowing how much water we’re pulling from the aquifer, and may be skewing the state’s rosy water-conservation numbers.

Read the story

How We Use Water

With abundance everywhere we look, many Floridians don’t realize the direct connection between the way we use water above-ground and the aquifer underfoot – and to the springs and other natural waterways

Read the story

Meet Your Algae

The Hidden World in North Florida’s Springs

Read the story

Worry and Hope for North Florida’s Springs

In recent decades, the blue-gem springs have grown tarnished – both water quality and quantity are in decline.

Read the story

Flushed But Not Forgotten

If you’re flushing wipes down the toilet, think again. Not only are wipes ‘public enemy No. 1’ at the wastewater plant, but they and other non-flushable items also hinder the return of clean water to the environment.

Read the story

Can churches have an impact on how North Florida cares for its freshwaters?

Read the story

The ‘Healthy’ Meat: Can intensive chicken farming co-exist in springs country?

Read the story

Safe from rising seas, North Central Florida may see another major impact from climate change: refugees

Read the story

The lesser-known threat from sea-level rise? Saltwater intrusion into Florida’s freshwater wells.

Read the story

Water Science and You: The need for data is growing along with our water challenges. In the wake of gaps in personnel and funding, citizens can play a crucial role.

Read the story

Cautionary Tale: 20 years later, Lake Apopka is a 48-square-mile lesson in the importance of keeping pollution out of Florida’s waters in the first place

Read the story

No Water, No Beer

Local breweries, growing up around a water theme, may be Gainesville’s best example of how business can help elevate the water conversation in North Central Florida

Read the story

Gainesville’s Madera is one model for how Floridians could live better with water at home.

Read the story

Priceless: Would putting a small price on Florida’s groundwater help stop overpumping?

Read the story

Connections: A Photo Essay

Read the story

Insights from the Ether: A closing essay from Cynthia Barnett

Read the story

Still Thirsty? Sign up for periodic e-mails chronicling environmental coverage from the WUFT News team.