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ORNL's Communications team works with news media seeking information about the laboratory. Media may use the resources listed below or send questions to news@ornl.gov.

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The ORNL-developed AquaBOT measures a range of water quality indicators, providing data for studies focused on clean water and sustainable energy. Credit: Natalie Griffiths/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Measuring water quality throughout river networks with precision, speed and at lower cost than traditional methods is now possible with AquaBOT, an aquatic drone developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

ORNL researchers worked with partners at the Colorado School of Mines and Baylor University to develop a new process optimization and control method for a closed-circuit reverse osmosis desalination system. The work is intended to support fully automated, decentralized water treatment plants. Credit: Andrew Sproles/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists worked with the Colorado School of Mines and Baylor University to develop and test control methods for autonomous water treatment plants that use less energy and generate less waste.

ORNL’s Marie Kurz examines the many factors affecting the health of streams and watersheds. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Spanning no less than three disciplines, Marie Kurz’s title — hydrogeochemist — already gives you a sense of the collaborative, interdisciplinary nature of her research at ORNL.

Results show change in annual aridity for the years 2071-2100 compared to 1985-2014. Brown shadings (negative numbers) indicate drier conditions. Black dots indicate statistical significance at the 90% confidence level. Credit: Jiafu Mao/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A new analysis from Oak Ridge National Laboratory shows that intensified aridity, or drier atmospheric conditions, is caused by human-driven increases in greenhouse gas emissions. The findings point to an opportunity to address and potentially reverse the trend by reducing emissions.

Planting native grasses such as the bioenergy crop switchgrass can restore habitat for birds like this Eastern kingbird. Credit: Chris Lituma/West Virginia University

An analysis by Oak Ridge National Laboratory shows that using less-profitable farmland to grow bioenergy crops such as switchgrass could fuel not only clean energy, but also gains in biodiversity.

An ORNL research team has incorporated important effects from microbially-active hot spots near streams into models that track the movement of nutrients and contaminants in river networks. The integrated model better tracks water quality indicators and facilitates new science. Credit: Adam Malin/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A new modeling capability developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory incorporates important biogeochemical processes happening in river corridors for a clearer understanding of how water quality will be impacted by climate change, land use and population growth.

Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Data Center in Crested Butte, Colorado.

New data hosted through the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Data Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will help improve models that predict climate change effects on the water supply in the Colorado River Basin.

Researchers gained new insights into the mechanisms some methane-feeding bacteria called methanotrophs (pictured) use to break down the toxin methylmercury. Credit: Andy Sproles/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy; Jeremy Semrau/Univ. of Michigan

A team led by ORNL and the University of Michigan have discovered that certain bacteria can steal an essential compound from other microbes to break down methane and toxic methylmercury in the environment.

The Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park encompasses a 20,000 acre area that includes Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Anyone familiar with ORNL knows it’s a hub for world-class science. The nearly 33,000-acre space surrounding the lab is less known, but also unique.

Researchers at Colorado State University and ORNL evaluated 14 urban megaregions to simulate the effects of climate change on water resources. Credit: CSU/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory worked with Colorado State University to simulate how a warming climate may affect U.S. urban hydrological systems.