First Advisor

Melissa Haeffner

Date of Award

Summer 8-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science and University Honors


Environmental Science and Management




Water security, Mapping water, Newspapers, Science communication, Science education


Water insecurity is faced by a large percentage of the global population, particularly in urban areas, which face greater and more complex needs for water resources. Better tools are needed to be able to recognize and communicate water security issues in a way that reinforces water systems, engages all stakeholders, and recognizes early warnings of environmental injustice. This research examines utilizing public newspaper articles to produce these tools. Using a case-study approach, this thesis explores newspaper articles about water from 2014-2020 in the urban center of Portland, Oregon, to understand local water security issues and to build a system of analyzing and mapping them. By coding articles for water security terms (safety, affordability, reliability, and accessibility), this research unveils a method of newspaper data analysis that can be used to understand local water security issues, map newspaper articles, and promote water security education and communication through building action competence. This research is useful in the beginning stages of building an early detection system for water security issues and water injustice, which can inform environmental education, communication, policy, and management contexts.


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