Benjamin Preston

Benjamin Preston

Benjamin Preston was a communications intern for the Columbia Water Center. A graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he also serves as an editorial intern at OnEarth Magazine. Before coming to New York, he covered water resource issues as a staff reporter, first for the Santa Barbara Independent and then -- both are Santa Barbara, Calif.-based local news publications. He has also had work published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Miller-McCune Magazine, the Brooklyn Eagle, and the now-defunct Terrain Magazine, among others.

Recent Posts

Robert-Bourassa Reservoir, Quebec, Canada. NASA image

Can Canadian Water Slake America’s Need for Power?

At a time when the world is abuzz with talk of reducing carbon dioxide emissions to stem the tide of climate change, Canada’s surfeit of hydropower production appears an attractive option to people south of the border who still rely on fossil fuel-generated electricity.

by |September 23, 2011
Teton Dam, in Southeastern Idaho, collapsed on May 5, 1976, killing 14 people. Photo courtesy U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Safety Be Dammed: High-Risk Dams on the Rise

In the still hours just before midnight on March 12, 1928, thousands of people slumbered in the handful of agricultural communities nestled along the Santa Clara River in Ventura County, California. Tony Harnischfeger and his family slept quietly in a small house at the foot of the St. Francis Dam, a 195-foot high concrete gravity… read more

by |September 9, 2011
USGS image, 2005.

Walking the Tightrope of Groundwater Management

As climate changes and supplying water becomes more challenging, one company says it has a better management strategy.

by |August 29, 2011
HDRI photograph of sunset on Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. 2008. Photo by Non-dropframe via WikiCommons

Canadian Boreal: Protecting Today’s Water for Tomorrow

Canada’s Boreal forest is far from the public eye, but it contains 25 percent of the world’s wetlands.

by |August 5, 2011
The Toyota Prius has become a symbol of more efficient passenger cars, but fuel efficient technology is poised to expand. 2005. Photo by Chris 73 via WikiCommons

The Less Thirsty Cars of the Future

Good news for clean air and water: President Obama unveiled an agreement last week to raise the bar on fuel economy by 2025.

by |August 2, 2011
Rooftop air conditioning units cool 80 percent of commercial buildings in the U.S. 2009. Photo by P199 via WikiCommons

Cooling the Former Frontier: Using Water to Save Energy

AC units have become more efficient over the years, but energy consumption during hot summer months can increase significantly, boosting both the amount of money spent on electricity and the volume of greenhouse gasses emitted in the energy production process.

by |July 25, 2011
Somali refugees in the Gulf of Aden. 2009. Photo by David Barker, courtesy USN

Somali Drought; Harbinger of Hard Times

For all its problems, Southern California has been a wonderful home for a lot of people over the past 100 or so years. It has nice beaches, good roads, plenty of places to eat, and, for now, a reliable supply of drinking water. Now imagine the L.A. riots had spread across the entire region, plunging… read more

by |July 19, 2011
2007. Photo by Ten Thousand Bullets via Wikimedia

The Fairytale of “Organic” Water

Time and time again, marketing teams have proven that people will buy pretty much anything. So many examples exist that the topic was enough for Brooks Jackson to write an entire book about it. One of the more recent flim-flam schemes is selling organic water. Wait a tick, did I just say that? Yes, I… read more

by |July 15, 2011
Anti-fracking demonstrators begin the half-mile march to the state's DEC headquarters. Photo by Benjamin Preston

Fracking Gains Ground in New York

Fracking is back in the news again, and in a big way. On July 1, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, released its recommendations regarding the controversial natural gas extraction technique. Amidst the din of statewide protests, the agency supported fracking in most of the state’s portion… read more

by |July 11, 2011
Ripple Effect author Alex Prud'Homme (L) and Written in Water editor Irena Salina (R) at Bryant Park's outdoor reading room. Photo by Benjamin Preston

Ripple Effect Author Talks Efficiency; Cleanup

The outlook for global water is bleak, but Alex Prud’Homme still believes in the power of human ingenuity.

by |July 7, 2011