A new report by the Columbia Water Center, produced with Veolia Water and Growing Blue, could help expose the real nature of water risk–even in places that most people think of as having plenty of water.
“This is a mess, and it is a mess that we have not attended to yet,” Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs said at a conference on water security held today at Columbia University. “Humanity is the driver, but we don’t have our hands on the steering wheel very much.”
So far, tensiometers have been tested in four central districts of Punjab, initially with more than 500 farmers the first year, and then peaking with an additional 4,500 farmers in 2011 before testing was scaled back. Data showed, on average, a 30 percent reduction in the water used in the test plots when compared with the standard practices employed in the control plots.
Extreme weather and climate-related events already have cost the United States billions of dollars. A recent symposium focused on what we know about the causes and how changing climate affects agriculture, water supplies, wildlife and our economy.
The water documentary “A Thirsty World” combines French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s aerial photography with down-to-earth messages, a mélange that calls attention to problems of water security on a global scale.
I am staying with a friend’s family in Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, and tomorrow will meet up with my climbing partner, Pablo Puruncajas, to prepare for our expedition. I am here to collect tree ring samples and put up a weather station on Chimborazo, Ecuador’s tallest peak, to provide climate data about this region, which relies heavily on Chimborazo’s glaciers for water.
Dr. Daniel Hillel was recently honored with the World Food Prize for his pioneering work in sustainable agriculture.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that droughts will likely increase in central North America this century. How can we prepare for a future of perpetual drought?
The rains came late this year in Kenya. I was there for several months in the winter and spring to conduct research for a post-doctoral fellowship, examining the consequences of increases in fertilizer use on soil fertility, maize yields, nitrogen gas emissions and nitrogen leaching losses.
Companies globally are increasingly focused on the emerging risk of water scarcity, and so are their investors. The combination of rising populations, rapid economic growth in developing countries, and climate variability is triggering enormous water availability challenges around the world. We are at a critical juncture where the crises of food, energy and water, commodity price volatility, energy reliability, and fears of whether food production will be enough calls for a rethinking of our business-as-usual approaches. In partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Water mission, Columbia Water Center undertook a preliminary national level geospatial study of water risks perceptions and responses across 27 industrial sectors in India, including food processing, textiles, energy, oil and gas, retail, pharmaceuticals, information technology and health services. The results of the study are reported in “India’s Deepening Water Crisis? Water Risks for Indian Industries: A Preliminary Study of 27 Industrial Sectors.”