Drinking Water

Near the foot of Israel's Mount Sodom, Lamont geoscientist Steven Goldstein (left) and Mordechai Stein of the Geological Survey of Israel inspect a salt cave thought to be 6 million to 7 million years old.

Photo Essay: The Dead Sea, Living Waters and Megadrought

Thousands of years before Biblical times, during a period when temperatures were unusually high, the lands around the Dead Sea now occupied by Israel, Jordan and surrounding nations suffered megadroughts far worse than any recorded by humans. Warming climate now threatens to return such conditions to this already hard-pressed region.

by |October 31, 2017
Lead-In-School-Water

The Importance of Regulating Lead in Drinking Water

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.

by |February 6, 2017
arsenic video snip

Get the Facts: Arsenic in New Jersey Well Water

A new initiative aims to help homeowners in New Jersey cope with arsenic contamination in private wells—a problem that has only come to light in recent years, and about which many homeowners are still unaware.

by |June 16, 2016
American Samoa  Photo: XLCatlinSeaviewSurvey

#100. Taking a Fresh Look at Five Issues

This is the 100th blog I’ve written for the State of the Planet. It seemed like a good occasion to take a look at my five most popular blogs to see what has changed in the years since they were written. Is the news better or worse for seawater greenhouses, plastic pollution, turning wastewater into drinking water, coral reefs and rare earth metals?

by |January 14, 2016

Battling ‘the Largest Mass Poisoning in History’

As many as one in five deaths in Bangladesh may be tied to naturally occurring arsenic in the drinking water; it is the epicenter of a worldwide problem that is affecting tens of millions of people. For two decades, health specialists and earth scientists from Columbia University have been trying to understand the problem, and how to solve it.

drinking water

How Much Arsenic is Too Little?

Five hundred utilities in the U.S. provide drinking water with unsafe levels of arsenic, the Environmental Protection Agency says. But how many people are getting too much arsenic in their water is much less clear, according to a study conducted in part by the Columbia Water Center.

by |August 29, 2014
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Keeping our Freshwater Fresh: Ecosystem Management Tools

We have been harming our hard-earned water resources; is it too late to clean up our act? With the help of the nine principles of ecology we can work towards effectively and sustainably managing these ecosystems, which will help us preserve the quality of New York’s freshwater resources and maintain our high quality drinking water.

by |February 14, 2014
geocharts

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
The Croton Reservoir. Photo credit: Patrick Stahl

Maintaining the Superiority of NYC’s Drinking Water

New York City is world-renowned for its clean and delicious drinking water. The NYC watershed delivers roughly 1.2 billion gallons of unfiltered water each day to 9 million New Yorkers. But in 2013, the Croton Water Filtration Plant, currently under construction in the Bronx, will begin filtering 1.2 million cubic meters or 10% of New York’s water supply each day.

by |July 29, 2011
Photo credit: notcub

From Wastewater to Drinking Water

Across the globe, 2 out of 10 people do not have access to safe drinking water, and in the U.S., many states face water shortages and droughts. As the global population continues to grow and climate change results in more water crises, where will we find enough water to meet our needs?

by |April 4, 2011