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 Matters, the blog of the Columbia Water Center, focuses on the assessment, understanding and resolution of the potentially global crisis of freshwater scarcity.
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.
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 oceans of the world are a vast unexploited source of clean, reliable and predictable renewable energy. Could this energy help replace fossil fuels and be a solution to climate change?
The final phase of our revolves around visiting chars, sandy river islands, on the Ganges and Brahmaputra River. Chris and Dan are making measurements of soil salinity and moisture and spectra of the soil reflectance, while Liz and I collected samples for OSL dating and understanding the OSL properties of the river sediments here. This entails a mixture of driving around the country and spending time on small country boats and walking around the chars.