Overall global losses from natural disasters such as floods, landslides or earthquakes amount to about $300 billion annually. A rapid and early response is key to immediately address the loss of human life, property, infrastructure and business activity.
Water » Page 2
In recent years, scientists have revealed that we are depleting our global groundwater reserves at an alarming rate. Now researchers have shown that a significant share of this unsustainable water use fuels the global food trade, which means water exhaustion in supplier nations could ripple outward, causing food crises half way across globe.
Glaciers around the world have retreated at unprecedented rates and some have disappeared altogether. The melting of glaciers will affect drinking water supplies, water needed to grow food and supply energy, as well as global sea levels.
A number of national and local governments are tightening environmental regulations and shutting down specific mining projects, or in some cases the entire industry, due to environmental risks, including those related to water use and pollution.
For Mexico City’s biggest businesses and its poorest neighborhoods, rainwater harvesting could help address an enormous water crisis plaguing the city, a recent Columbia Water Center study found.
Michelle Ho grew up in Australia, the driest inhabited continent, with an appreciation for the value of having a clean glass of water to drink. Now, she conducts research for the Columbia Water Center on America’s water systems.
The potential effectiveness of harvesting rainwater to bolster water supply and reduce potentially polluting runoff varies greatly from place to place, even within a particular city or neighborhood. Now researchers at the Columbia Water Center have developed a tool to assess the potential of rainwater harvesting throughout the United States.
Columbia Water Center director Upmanu Lall suggests that we see the Oroville crisis as a call to action to evaluate and address the challenges facing the nation’s dam infrastructure.
Many schools are being tested for lead in their water. But what about the libraries, hospitals, offices and old apartment buildings? As I observe the new president and his EPA designee, I worry about the adverse effect deregulating environmental protection would have on our families. There is more work to do if we are to truly understand the impact of human technology on the environment and public health.
Across the nation, abandoned mine sites continue to pollute the environment for decades as acid mine drainage flows into rivers and streams. A 1980 law was supposed to fix that, but lack of funding and enforcement have left the public stuck with the bill.