The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday May 25th

Water in our world

We are in the middle of the hottest year ever recorded in the United States. The Midwest is baking, crops in our nation’s “breadbasket” are burning and we face a nationwide forecast of extended droughts.

Luckily, here in relatively moist North Carolina we have avoided the nationwide roast.

Not so fast. Look back only four years and you will find one of the state’s worst droughts on record. We made national headlines, hitting the highest drought rating on the scale in nearly every single N.C. county. At the time, future droughts were considered both likely and potentially devastating, but four years later, water scarcity seems far removed.

UNC recently committed itself to confronting global and local water issues like these. The two-year UNC pan-campus theme ““Water In Our World”:” will raise awareness of water issues, support water-related research and establish lasting initiatives.

Our commitment to water challenges will begin in our own backyard.
UNC will be working with Orange Water and Sewer Authority to improve water usage in Orange Country. Interdisciplinary water-related courses, guest speakers and water-themed events will offer opportunities for impact.

Also, you can submit water-themed pictures to the photography competitions held by the Water Institute and Carolina Global Initiative.

Or, take advantage of the free admission to the Friday Center’s water lecture series, “What’s the Big Idea?” You can even present research this fall at the Institute for the Environment and the Water Institute “Water and Health” conference.

Water opportunities are truly endless at UNC.

Stefanie Schwemlein is a columnist from The Daily Tar Heel. She is a junior environmental health science major from Kernersville, N.C. Contact her at

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