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Report: 5% Of U.S. Land Area Affects 60% OF Country's Rivers, Streams

Five percent of the land area in the U.S. has a direct effect on 60 percent of the country’s rivers and streams.

And while metro areas are at the root of that, the impacts are not due to those cities’ residents but rather their infrastructure.

The research from a team at the Oak Ridge Lab is looking at hard infrastructure — things like pipes, power plants, dams and roads — things local government has a good amount of control over.

Researchers at Northern Arizona University are working on this as well. Ben Ruddell is an associate professor in the School of Informatics, Computing and Cyber Systems at NAU and one of the authors on a paper about this research that’s been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.