Author: Lakis Polycarpou

Lakis Polycarpou

Lakis Polycarpou is a writer, ecological designer and sustainable development consultant. His posts on State of the Planet have covered diverse issues including water scarcity, climate change, drought, flood, food security, supply chains and geopolitics. From 2010 to 2012, Lakis worked with the Columbia Water Center to articulate and communicate innovative solutions to global water and climate challenges. Lakis currently works with environmental organizations in Westchester County, New York to organize programming and lead sustainable development initiatives.

US Groundwater Declines More Widespread Than Commonly Thought

by | 3.17.2014 at 9:00pm | 1 Comment

Groundwater levels are dropping across a much wider swath of the United States than is generally discussed, according to a new report, suggesting that the nation’s long-term pattern of groundwater use is broadly unsustainable.

The End of Cheap Water?

by | 10.15.2013 at 11:34am | 4 Comments

Americans are paying more for water than they did a decade ago, even as water utilities fall into debt and water infrastructure deteriorates, according to a Columbia Water Center report.

Resource Consumption — the Ultimate Bubble?

by | 10.4.2013 at 10:09am
Oil pump. By rocor, via Flickr.

“Basically, the instinct of civilizations in the past has been to run off a cliff. This time it’s different. We have one global civilization, so we have to be very careful not to run off a cliff.”

Charting the Course to a Renewable Energy Future

by | 7.30.2013 at 10:18am
The largest photovoltaic power plant in the United States at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The plant occupies 170 acres and has a 15 megawatt capacity.

As environmentalists have pushed for greater investment in wind and solar energy, critics have insisted that renewable sources of power could never provide more than a fraction of world energy demand. Evidence is mounting, however, that the critics are wrong.

Climate Effects on NYC May Move Faster Than Previously Forecast

by | 6.12.2013 at 4:30pm
NYC 100yr flood zones NYU

The impact of climate change on New York City could be even more severe than previously thought, putting more people at risk from increasingly frequent floods and heat waves, according to a report by the New York City Panel on Climate Change that was released Monday.

Water Risk in Unexpected Places

by | 5.20.2013 at 6:54pm | 2 Comments
An infographic by Veolia water based on the Columbia Water Center report shows areas in the United States with the greatest water risk.

A new report by the Columbia Water Center, produced with Veolia Water and Growing Blue, could help expose the real nature of water risk–even in places that most people think of as having plenty of water.

The Microgrid Solution

by | 5.15.2013 at 12:15pm | 1 Comment
Diagram of Shared Solar Microgrid. Source: Millennium Villages

Last October, Superstorm Sandy provoked widespread frustration and fear after it left more than 7.5 million people in the New York Metro area without power. In the hardest hit areas, outages lasted two weeks or more. These failures led many observers to wonder if America’s aging electrical grid was up to dealing with emerging climate and other challenges.

Deeper than Water — New Video and Infographics from the Columbia Water Center

by | 3.22.2012 at 9:30am | 1 Comment

As population grows and demand for food and products increase, so does our demand for water. But in the face of growing pressure on our water resources from depletion, pollution and climate change, we need to make more of what we have.

Water and Food Facts for World Water Day

by | 3.19.2012 at 4:37pm

March 22 is World Water Day, and its theme this year—water and food security—couldn’t be more pressing. But what do we really know about water—where it goes, what it’s used for, and how to preserve it?

Finding the Link Between Water Stress and Food Prices

by | 3.16.2012 at 2:46pm | 1 Comment

Over the past decade, average global food prices have more than doubled, with 2008 and 2010 seeing excruciating price spikes that each had far-reaching economic, geopolitical and social consequences.