Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Episode 599 (10-18-21): A Day to Weigh Water's Worth

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (5:00).

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 10-15-21.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 18, 2021.

SOUND – ~8 sec 

This week, those abrupt stops to the sounds of the Roanoke River, Gray Tree Frogs, and a household water faucet set the stage for an episode marking the observance of “Imagine a Day without Water,” to be held this year on October 21.  We start with some music designed to help you do such imagining.  Have a listen for about 40 seconds.

MUSIC  - ~42 sec – instrumental 

You’ve been listening to “Flow Stopper,” by Torrin Hallett, a graduate student at the Yale School of Music.  Besides flowing rivers, calling frogs, and household faucets, almost any aspect of life could be affected by a lack of water, including the biological structures and functions that make life possible.  Increasing the awareness of water uses and needs is a goal of the “Imagine a Day Without Water” campaign.  According to the event’s Web site, the effort is, quote, “a national education campaign that brings together diverse stakeholders to highlight how water is essential, invaluable, and in need of investment,” unquote.  The event is part of the “Value of Water Campaign,” focused on water infrastructure needs.  These campaigns are coordinated by the US Water Alliance, a non-profit organization made up of people from water utilities, government, business, other non-profits, communities, and research establishments.

Worldwide, billions of people don’t have to imagine lacking good water.  According to the United Nations, as of 2019 over 2 billion people lacked access to safely managed drinking water, and over 4 billion people lacked access to safely managed sanitation.

In the United States, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ water infrastructure “Report Card” for 2021 estimated over $1 trillion needed through 2029 for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater, with $434 billion of that not yet funded. 

And in Virginia, the Department of Environmental Quality’s 2020 “Water Resources Report” identified several water challenges, including maintaining groundwater availability over the next 50 years; coordinating water planning among localities; gauging the impact of unpermitted water withdrawals; understanding stream water quality and ecology; and investing in water-resources personnel, science, and education.

Water is fundamental for energy, commerce, industry, agriculture, aquatic and terrestrial life, and human biology.  Imagining a day without water—and learning about where water’s lacking—can help us envision and work toward well-watered future days.

Thanks to Torrin Hallett for composing this week’s music for Virginia Water Radio, and we close with another listen to the last 10 seconds of “Flow Stopper.”

MUSIC  - 10 sec – instrumental


Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


The sounds at the beginning of this episode, all recorded by Virginia Water Radio, are as follows:
Roanoke River on from the Roanoke River Greenway between Franklin Road and Smith Park in Roanoke, Va., December 6, 2020;
Gray Tree Frogs at Heritage Park in Blacksburg, Va., July 8, 2016;
Household water faucet in a Blacksburg, Va., residence, November 17, 2013.

“Flow Stopper” is copyright 2021 by Torrin Hallett, used with permission.  Torrin is a 2018 graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio; a 2020 graduate in Horn Performance from Manhattan School of Music in New York; and a 2021 graduate of the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.  He is currently a graduate student at the Yale School of Music.  More information about Torrin is available online at https://www.facebook.com/torrin.hallett.  Thanks very much to Torrin for composing the piece especially for Virginia Water Radio.  Following are other music pieces composed by Torrin for Virginia Water Radio, with episodes featuring the music.
“A Little Fright Music” – used in Episode 548, 10-26-20, on water-related passages in fiction and non-fiction, for Halloween.
“Beetle Ballet” – used in Episode 525, 5-18-20, on aquatic beetles.
“Chesapeake Bay Ballad” – used in Episode 537, 8-10-20, on conditions in the Chesapeake Bay.
“Corona Cue” – used in Episode 517, 3-23-20, on the coronavirus pandemic.
“Geese Piece” – used most recently in Episode 440, 10-1-18, on E-bird.
“Ice Dance” – used in Episode 556, 12-21-20, on how organisms survive freezing temperatures.
“Lizard Lied” – used in Episode 514, 3-2-20, on lizards.
“New Year’s Water” – used in Episode 349, 1-2-17, on the New Year.
“Rain Refrain” – used most recently Episode 559, 1-11-21, on record rainfall in 2020.
“Runoff” – in Episode 585, 7-12-21 – on middle-school students calling out stormwater-related water words.
“Spider Strike” – used in Episode 523, 5-4-20, on fishing spiders.
“Tropical Tantrum” – used most recently in Episode 580, 6-7-21, on the 2021 Atlantic tropical storm season preview.
“Tundra Swan Song
– used in Episode 554, 12-7-20, on Tundra Swans.
“Turkey Tune” – used in Episode 343, 11-21-16, on the Wild Turkey. 

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at http://www.bencosgrove.com.


“Imagine a Day Without Water” campaign logo, accessed online at  https://imagineadaywithoutwater.org/resources.

Roanoke River, looking upstream from the Roanoke River Greenway between Franklin Road and Smith Park in Roanoke, Va., December 6, 2020.  This is the location where the river sound heard in this Virginia Water Radio episode was recorded.


Used For Audio

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), “2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” online at https://infrastructurereportcard.org/. 

United Nations, “Global Issues/Water,” online at https://www.un.org/en/global-issues/water.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “Water Use Data for Virginia,” online at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/water_use/.

US Water Alliance, online at http://uswateralliance.org/.

Value of Water Campaign, online at http://thevalueofwater.org/. 

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), “Status of Virginia’s Water Resources: A Report on Virginia’s Water Resources Management Activities,” October 2020, online (as a PDF) at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/2119/637432838113030000.  The section on”Water Resource Challenges and Priorities” starts of page 27.

Value of Water Campaign, “Imagine a Day Without Water,” online at https://imagineadaywithoutwater.org/; this site is the source of the quote used in this episode’s audio. 

World Health Organization (WHO), “Drinking Water,” June 14, 2019, online at https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water.

For More Information on Current Water Infrastructure Needs and Funds

PBS NewsHour, “How the infrastructure bill delivers on clean water—and how it falls short,” August 4, 2021 (7 min./2 sec. video, with online transcript).

U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Biden-Harris Administration Invests $272 Million to Improve Rural Water Infrastructure for 270,000 People Living in Rural Communities Across the Country,” October 14, 2021, News Release.

Virginia Governor’s Office, “Governor Northam Announces Virginia to Reduce Water Pollution, Increase Access to Clean Water,” July 27, 2021, News Release.


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “Overall Importance of Water” and “Water Quality, Waste Management, and Water/Wastewater Treatment” subject categories.

Following are links to some previous episodes with information on water uses or needs.

Episode 122, 8-6-12 – on worldwide water needs.
Episode 372, 6-12-17
– on water infrastructure needs, including information from the American Society of Civil Engineers’ “Report Card for America’s Infrastructure” for 2017.
Episode 592, 6-15-20
– on Virginia’s biennial water-quality assessment in 2020. 


Following are some Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) that may be supported by this episode’s audio/transcript, sources, or other information included in this post.

2020 Music SOLs 

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2018 Science SOLs

Grades K-3 plus 5: Matter
K.4 – Water is important in our daily lives and has properties,

Grades K-5: Earth and Space Systems
3.7 – There is a water cycle and water is important to life on Earth.
4.7 – The ocean environment.

Grades K-5: Earth Resources
K.11 – Humans use resources.
1.8 – Natural resources can be used responsibly, including that most natural resources are limited; and that human actions can affect the availability of natural resources.
3.8 – Natural events and humans influence ecosystems.
4.8 – Virginia has important natural resources.
5.9 – Conservation of energy resources is important.

Grade 6
6.6 – Water has unique physical properties and has a role in the natural and human-made environment.
6.8 – Land and water have roles in watershed systems.
6.9 – Humans impact the environment and individuals can influence public policy decisions related to energy and the environment.

Life Science
LS.9 – Relationships exist between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science
ES.6 – Resource use is complex.
ES.8 – Freshwater resources influence and are influenced by geologic processes and human activity.

BIO.2 – Chemical and biochemical processes are essential for life, including that water chemistry has an influence on life processes.
BIO.8 – Dynamic equilibria exist within populations, communities, and ecosystems, including that natural events and human activities influence local and global ecosystems and may affect the flora and fauna of Virginia. 

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Grades K-3 Economics Theme
2.8 – Natural, human, and capital resources.
3.8 – Understanding of cultures and of how natural, human, and capital resources are used for goods and services.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – Government at the national level.
CE.7 – Government at the state level.
CE.8 – Government at the local level.
CE.10 – Public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 – How selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.
WG.4 – Types and significance of natural, human, and capital resources.
WG.18 – Cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course
GOVT.7 – National government organization and powers.
GOVT.8 – State and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – Public policy process at local, state, and national levels.
GOVT.15 – Role of government in Va. and U.S. economies, including examining environmental issues and property rights.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15
– on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15
– on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16
– on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16
– on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18
– on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18
– on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18
– on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18
– on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19
– on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.
Episode 524, 5-11-20
– on sounds by water-related animals, for elementary school through high school.
Episode 531, 6-29-20
– on various ways that animals get water, for 3rd and 4th grade.
Episode 539, 8-24-20
– on basic numbers and facts about Virginia’s water resources, for 4th and 6th grade.