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News Release 17-012

New NSF-funded videos highlight 'Human Water Cycle'

Connection between water, food and energy undergoes in-depth investigation

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Videos probe how people use one of Earth's most precious resources -- water.

February 7, 2017

Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, released an original video series that explores the connection between water, food and energy.

The four-part "Human Water Cycle" series spotlights science and engineering research aimed at helping people use water more efficiently. Narrated by Anne Thompson of NBC News, the series will air on NBC stations and can be viewed online at this NSF Special Report, and

"Through these videos on one of Earth's most precious resources -- water -- we hope to educate viewers about the connections among water, food and energy," said Roger Wakimoto, NSF assistant director for Geosciences. "Providing adequate fresh water to a population that continues to grow is one of the grand challenges facing our world."

Each episode will focus on a different water issue, including segments on drinking water, agriculture, wastewater and the water-food-energy nexus.

"Our partnership with the National Science Foundation has provided a great platform for showcasing the latest research through original video content," said Mark Miano, executive editor of NBC Learn. "'Human Water Cycle' explores the tight connection between the elements through powerful storytelling and captivating video."

Last year, NSF released a special report highlighting its commitment to clean water research that supports accessible, sustainable water resources. The report, "Cleaner Water, Clearer Future," revealed how engineers are working to create efficient, new systems for water treatment, distribution, reuse and recovery.

"A sustainable water supply is essential for a variety of interconnected human needs, from drinking water to electricity," said Barry Johnson, NSF acting assistant director for Engineering, which co-funded the video series. "To meet our water needs in the future will require research and new water technologies for purification, smart agriculture, energy-positive water treatment and more."

Viewers can learn more about the new series and join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #HumanWaterCycle.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485, email:
Hollie Tracz, NBCUniversal News Group, (212) 664-3114, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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