It is a unique challenge of our generation that many in the developing world have cellular phones and TVs, but lack reliable access to water. Odd, perhaps, given that water is marketed as essential for life, a human right, and heart rending pictures of women and children walking miles to fetch water are routinely flashed to tug at everyone’s heart strings.
“We would like to take on international problems, problems of development, problems in the United States, but have them done with academic content and interest. Instead of people being sent to random places, we would take engineering companies that have an interest in a particular region in solving a problem, and they would bring the problem to the students.”
How can we overcome the main challenges we face in our urban wastewater systems today? Are there opportunities to improve sustainability in water treatment systems in US cities to support local food security?
US rice production dominates our consumption at over 90% (USDA, 2012), and the question is whether or not that choice is the best one for our water and our environment.
What are the implications of hydraulic fracturing on agriculture and food security? In agricultural areas with widespread, ongoing hydrofracking, there have been incidences of livestock poisoning from contaminated surface water sources or grasses, and soil contamination from explosions, spills, flares, irresponsible fracking-wastewater treatment, and leaky gas pipes.
March 22 is World Water Day, and its theme this year—water and food security—couldn’t be more pressing. But what do we really know about water—where it goes, what it’s used for, and how to preserve it?
After finally reaching the Mongla and our boat, we settled into our new home. It is a similar design, but much larger than the one we used in September. As we ate dinner and explored the ship, it started the overnight journey to the southeastern part of the Sundarbans where the wildlife is most plentiful. [...]
Over the past decade, average global food prices have more than doubled, with 2008 and 2010 seeing excruciating price spikes that each had far-reaching economic, geopolitical and social consequences.
The global population, now 7 billion, is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and will require 70 percent more food than we are producing today, and much more water for agriculture, drinking and industry. Will we have enough water to meet the demand?