Water Scarcity Archives - State of the Planet

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

Richard Seager Sees Hand of Climate Change in Drought

California’s wet and snowy winter brings welcome relief from a years-long drought that has challenged the state’s water supply and agricultural system. But climate scientist Richard Seager of Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory offers words of caution: Remember what happened, because it will happen again.

by |May 29, 2017

In Jharkhand, Using an Old Technique for Sustainable Water

The Indian state of Jharkhand has plentiful rainfall, but most of that water runs off before it can be put to use by farmers, who struggle to make a living. To help improve irrigation and crop productivity, the Centers for International Projects Trust and Ranchi’s Birsa Agricultural University turned to a simple traditional technology, “dobhas,” small ponds that can store rainwater for months at a time.

by |May 24, 2017

Reduced U.S. Air Pollution Will Boost Rainfall in Africa’s Sahel, Says Study

If U.S. sulfur dioxide emissions are cut to zero by 2100, as some researchers have projected they will be, rainfall over Africa’s Sahel region could increase up to 10 percent from 2000 levels, computer simulations suggest.

by |May 22, 2017

To Ease Mexico City’s Water Woes, Look up, Study Suggests

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.

by |May 1, 2017

Michelle Ho: In a Land of Plenty, Big Water Problems

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.

by |May 1, 2017

Work on Dead Sea Geology Earns Yael Kiro an Award

Yael Kiro, an associate research scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has received the 2017 Professor Rafi Freund Award from the Israel Geological Society for work published on the ancient climate history of the Dead Sea.

by |March 23, 2017

Californians Are Ready for Recycled Water

Water reuse is a proven technology that can produce a drought-proof sustainable water supply. Yet historically, there has been some reluctance to adopt it here in the United States. Xylem commissioned a poll to try to better understand perceptions about recycled water in drought-stricken California. And the findings were eye-opening.

by |March 18, 2016

The Changing Climate of Security

In the November Democratic presidential primary debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders said that the greatest threat to national security was climate change. But is there actually a link between national security and climate change, and if so, what is it?

by |December 9, 2015

The Growing Groundwater Crisis

Groundwater is being depleted at alarming rates, not only in drought-stricken California, but around the world. When groundwater is depleted, it can take tens to hundreds of years to for it to reestablish its sustainable level, if at all. What can be done to avert a water crisis?