World Water Day

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The U.S. Water Challenge: Watch the Video

Most American’s live with the expectation that fresh water will continue to flow freely from their faucets. The reality is that environmental degradation, an aging water infrastructure, water scarcity, job instability, and the ability to provide food for a growing population are now pressing issues.

by |April 1, 2014
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Geocharts: Water Challenges Around the World

View four interactive maps that give an overview of some of the water challenges different parts of the world currently face.

by |February 28, 2013
Residents of Kusumpur Pahari, a slum in south New Delhi, fill containers with water from a municipal Delhi Jal Board tanker.

Photo Essay: India, Water, Culture

Take a photographic journey from the crowded streets of Delhi, through the parched state of Rajasthan, and into the farmlands of north Gujarat to get a closer look at some of the many ways water affects the lives of millions of Indians every day.

by |March 22, 2012
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Deeper than Water — New Video and Infographics from the Columbia Water Center

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.

by |March 22, 2012
Flood irrigation in India. More efficient use of water for agriculture is key to protecting diminshing water supplies. Photo: Jeremy Hinsdale

Water, Water Everywhere, But Nary a Drop to Drink

It is a unique challenge of our generation that many in the developing world have cellular phones and TVs, but lack reliable access to water. Odd, perhaps, given that water is marketed as essential for life, a human right, and heart rending pictures of women and children walking miles to fetch water are routinely flashed to tug at everyone’s heart strings.

by |March 22, 2012
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Student ‘Aquanauts’ to Tackle Water Issues

“We would like to take on international problems, problems of development, problems in the United States, but have them done with academic content and interest. Instead of people being sent to random places, we would take engineering companies that have an interest in a particular region in solving a problem, and they would bring the problem to the students.”

by |March 22, 2012
A farmer in Sauri Millennium Village, Kenya, takes advantage of improved agricultural water management using a greenhouse to farm tomatoes

Millennium Villages Shed Light on Water Security

Water is essential to human well-being and economic development. Today, however, water stress caused by inadequate farming practices, demographic pressure and pollution is creating unprecedented problems. Nowhere is this more visible than in the rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. As the world celebrates World Water Day on the 22nd of March to draw attention to these issues, lessons learned from the Millennium Villages Project can provide a way forward. The project’s success in improving both water and food security are just some of the practical, science-based solutions that rural communities all over the world can use to extract themselves from poverty.

by |March 22, 2012
A "living machine" installation at the new Port of Portland headquarters, an example of new approaches to decentralized wastewater treatment.  Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Urban Wastewater: One Man’s Waste Is Another Man’s Treasure

How can we overcome the main challenges we face in our urban wastewater systems today? Are there opportunities to improve sustainability in water treatment systems in US cities to support local food security?

by |March 21, 2012
Farmers transplant rice in Punjab, India.

What’s in Your Rice? A Look at Where Rice in the U.S. Comes from

US rice production dominates our consumption at over 90% (USDA, 2012), and the question is whether or not that choice is the best one for our water and our environment.

by |March 21, 2012
Natural gas drilling rig in Roulette, Pennsylvania. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hydraulic Fracturing and Food Security: Can We Have Our Cake and Eat it Too?

What are the implications of hydraulic fracturing on agriculture and food security? In agricultural areas with widespread, ongoing hydrofracking, there have been incidences of livestock poisoning from contaminated surface water sources or grasses, and soil contamination from explosions, spills, flares, irresponsible fracking-wastewater treatment, and leaky gas pipes.

by |March 21, 2012