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.
Columbia Water Center
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.
A new study shows that dryness of the atmosphere affects U.S. grassland productivity more than rainfall does. The findings could have important implications for predicting how plants will respond to warming climate conditions.
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.
The Earth Institute digs into the past, tracks the present and models the future of climate. We explore the broader issues surrounding climate change, seek ways to apply our knowledge to real solutions, and nurture collaboration among faculty and researchers in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, law, public health, engineering, architecture and urban planning.
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.
Across the nation, large-scale water infrastructure such as dams have provided a multitude of services, from electric power and water reservoirs to flood control and containment of pollution. But federal investments in large water infrastructure projects have largely been curtailed over the past few decades.