water matters Archives - State of the Planet

Water Matters, the blog of the Columbia Water Center, focuses on the assessment, understanding and resolution of the potentially global crisis of freshwater scarcity.

Researchers Map High Levels of Drugs in the Hudson River

In a new study, researchers have mapped out a large variety of discarded pharmaceuticals dissolved throughout the Hudson River. They say that in some places, levels may be high enough to potentially affect aquatic life.

by |February 19, 2018

Global Environment Report Card Sees Dirty Air, Failing Fisheries

Many countries are making progress on improving water sanitation and protecting marine ecosystems. But air pollution continues as a leading health problem in many nations, and fisheries are deteriorating almost everywhere.

by |January 23, 2018
water center icon

Columbia Water Center Year in Review

The Columbia Water Center (CWC) is a leader in applying the science of water and climate to solve real world problems. With current events in mind, we worked with our partners to make progress on several key projects.

by |December 29, 2017

New York’s Waterways Are Swimming in Plastic Microbeads

Plastic microbeads, common in soap, toothpaste and other consumer products, are flooding waters. A team from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is doing the first large-scale assessment of their impact on New York’s waterways.

by |August 16, 2017

Challenges for Governments Seeking to Get Most Out of Natural Resources

On March 2, 2017, Tanzania banned all exports of unprocessed gold and copper concentrates. The measure was taken in order to force companies to set up in-country processing of raw materials, with hopes of fostering the development of a smelter in the country.

by |June 29, 2017

Rural America’s Drinking Water Crisis: No Help From Trump Budget

O’Brien is just one of thousands of small communities in the United States that struggle to find the resources to ensure that the water coming out of the tap is safe to drink. The budget proposal by the Trump administration will only make matters worse.

by |June 13, 2017

How Will Climate Change Impact Water Resources?

Richard Seager and Park Williams, climate scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, discuss how water will be affected by warmer temperatures, and how their research increases understanding of these issues.

by |June 6, 2017

Getting the Tools to Get Hired

Alan Burchell is the founder and principal of Urbanstrong, which he started shortly after graduating from Columbia’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management program in 2014. When choosing courses, Alan encourages MSSM students to fill up their tool belts. In his experience, “Knowledge is great, but tools get you hired.” Alan recommends to take classes that will teach you a transferable skill.

by |June 1, 2017

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

Vegetation Can Strongly Alter Climate and Weather, Study Finds

A new analysis of global satellite observations shows that vegetation can powerfully alter atmospheric patterns that influence climate and weather.

by |May 30, 2017