New research from the Columbia Water Center suggests that many more places in the United States are at risk of drought-induced water stress than is commonly thought, including dense metropolitan regions such as New York City and Washington, D.C.
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?
Convincing farmers that it’s worth it to reduce their water consumption will rest on our ability to help develop local groups to manage aquifers at the community-level.
We visited Polder 32, an embanked island in the delta that was flooded for almost two years when the embankment failed in several places during Cyclone Aila. In addition to the problem of increased subsidence due to the embankment, the area struggles for fresh water. Then we sailed to Hiron Point, a forest station in the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest. We serviced equipment we have here while our armed guards watch for tigers.
Global companies with long supply chains could do a much better job of managing climate disaster risk, according to a recently published study from the Columbia Water Center.
Climate scientist William D’Andrea of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory asked young scientists attending a symposium last October, “What do you wish everyone knew about climate change?” He turned the responses into this video, which covers the topic pretty well.
In terms of the urgent need to reform agriculture, address climate change and promote sustainable watershed development, the Indian government’s new budget provides for a number of promising initiatives.
Both of us are interested in the intersection of the environment and public health, and we wanted to explore a public health issue about which we felt ignorant. Water kept coming up in our conversations, because we felt that while water is a global issue, it often gets overlooked domestically among our peers. As such, we put together a six-week cross-country road trip, along which we are collecting stories about regional water issues.
In the face of climate change, companies cannot continue to do “business as usual.” The risks and challenges of the changing climate threaten the bottom line, but also offer unprecedented opportunities.
Most American’s live with the expectation that fresh water will continue to flow freely from their faucets. The reality is that environmental degradation, an aging water infrastructure, water scarcity, job instability, and the ability to provide food for a growing population are now pressing issues.