Water Quality

Photo: Luis LuCheng / flickr

Water Quality Concerns Extend Well Beyond Flint

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.

by |November 2, 2016
The Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve in Oregon was established in 2009. Photo: Kirt Edblom

How Well is the World Protecting Ecosystems and Human Health?

The new global environmental report card is out. The 2016 Environmental Performance Index graded 180 countries on how well they are protecting human health and their ecosystems. While the world is making progress in some areas, it is seriously falling behind in others.

by |February 18, 2016
Bo Ra Kim presents her team's project on marine debris.

Putting Knowledge to Work in the Real World: The Capstone Projects

The study of sustainability management and environmental policy is put to the test when applied to solving real world problems. Students in Columbia University’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management and Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy programs presented their final capstone projects done for real clients.

by |May 11, 2015
Sandy Riverkeeper patrol 205

After Sandy, Testing the Waters

During Hurricane Sandy the seas rose a record 14-feet in lower Manhattan. Water flooded city streets, subways, tunnels and even sewage treatment plants. It is unclear how much sewage may have been released as plants lost power or were forced to divert untreated wastewater into the Hudson River. Four days after Sandy, the environmental group… read more

by |November 19, 2012
2007. Photo by Ten Thousand Bullets via Wikimedia

The Fairytale of “Organic” Water

Time and time again, marketing teams have proven that people will buy pretty much anything. So many examples exist that the topic was enough for Brooks Jackson to write an entire book about it. One of the more recent flim-flam schemes is selling organic water. Wait a tick, did I just say that? Yes, I… read more

by |July 15, 2011
Tetrahymena - photo credit: The JCB

Recruiting Tiny Organisms to Detect Water Pollution

Climate change has huge implications for water pollution, so with increasing climate change effects and the concern that many regions on the planet are approaching peak water, timely water pollution detection is critical.

by |February 8, 2011
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Solving Urbanization Challenges by Design – The Science of Green Roofs (part 2)

Patricia J. Culligan is a professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics at Columbia University and the Vice Dean of Academic Affairs for Columbia Engineering. In part two of this interview she talks about the challenge of quantifying the economic benefits of green roofs, the potential for rooftop agriculture, and what it means to “solve urbanization challenges by design.”

by |February 2, 2011
coned

Solving Urbanization Challenges by Design – The Science of Green Roofs

Patricia J. Culligan, professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics, discusses her work with the Columbia University Green Roof Consortium to quantify the benefits of green roofs.

by |January 31, 2011
tap-water-drinking

Fluoridation of Water: Communist Conspiracy, Genuine Threat or Both?

Who can forget the scene from Kubrick’s classic movie Dr. Strangelove of screws-loose General Jack D. Ripper pontificating to straight-laced British group captain Lionel Mandrake about the dangers of fluoride in water…

by |December 23, 2010
The first drinking fountain installed by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association, St Sepulchres Church, Snow Hill, London 1859. Wikimedia

In Support of the Neglected Drinking Fountain

The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association built the first public drinking fountain in London in 1859, as an answer to some of the pressing problems of their times. Drinking fountains are also part of the answer to some of our own problems.

by |September 1, 2010