america’s water

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America’s Dam Crisis: Was Oroville Just a Drop in the Bucket?

Columbia Water Center experts argue that dam infrastructure issues must be connected to a broader conversation about America’s water resources.

by |May 31, 2017
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Michelle Ho: In a Land of Plenty, Big Water Problems

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.

by |May 1, 2017
Photo: Luis LuCheng / flickr

Water Quality Concerns Extend Well Beyond Flint

Researchers at the Columbia Water Center have been analyzing trends in drinking water quality violations. A critical lesson is that water quality violations extend well beyond the problem of lead in Flint’s drinking water.

by |November 2, 2016
This map shows the amount of water stored in underground aquifers in the continental U.S for the year 2014. The baseline is the average water stored between the years 1948-2009. Source: NASA.

Bridging the Gap Between Science and Policy for Water Security

To tackle the challenge of how to effectively educate important stakeholders about ground water in the United States, 11 graduate students from the Earth Institute and School of International and Public Affairs MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program were asked to recommend a strategy to improve scientific literacy among policymakers and investors.

by |July 8, 2016
Worn-out pipes and other infrastructure can add to the risks for water contamination. Photo: @picJim / Flickr / Creative Commons

Presidential Politics: Water Supply and Contamination

The federal government needs to develop and implement a plan to solve problems with our water infrastructure, pollution and growing scarcity. How will the next president act?

by |June 29, 2016
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Flint Crisis Opens Door on Water Problems Around U.S.

Experts from the Columbia Water Center, the Earth Institute and affiliates talk about the municipal water crisis in Flint, Mich., the nature of the crisis and what it means for America’s Water.

by |February 15, 2016
1862 Flooding in California

With El Niño, Be Careful What You Wish for

In Southern California, a strong El Niño usually signals rain. Given that California is now in the throes of a severe drought, it seems like that should be a good thing, even if it comes with risk of floods. But the reality of climate is more complex and counter-intuitive than it first appears.

by |November 16, 2015
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Learning from a River’s History to Prepare for the Future

Researchers from eight universities, including Columbia University, are using tree ring and glacier analysis to reconstruct the climate history of the Missouri River Basin in order to give policymakers and water managers better decision-making tools to manage the river.

by |August 17, 2015
The Normalized Deficit Cumulated (NDC) shows cumulative, multi-year water deficits.

U.S. Drought Risk Wider than Previously Thought

New research from the Columbia Water Center suggests that many more places in the United States are at risk of drought-induced water stress than is commonly thought, including dense metropolitan regions such as New York City and Washington, D.C.

by |May 4, 2015
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Waking up to America’s Water Challenges

“Will it take another Dustbowl for Americans to start paying attention to water issues?” asked Water Center Director Upmanu Lall. Or will it be the chance to create the “iPhone technology” of water? Whether the impetus is crisis or opportunity, according to Lall, the time to act is now.

by |March 19, 2015