Jennifer Vettel, Author at State of the Planet

Water in Paris

I have been spending the month of July in Paris, France for a study abroad program, and during my time here, I have been able to observe different water habits of people abroad. My observations are in no way absolute, but I have found several interesting trends in water in Paris that I wanted to… read more

by |July 23, 2010

Concord Bans Bottled Water

Concord, Massachusetts is famous for the fact that Thoreau lived there at Walden Pond in the 1800s. But today, the environmentally conscious town is gaining more and more press as the first town in the United States to ban the sale of bottled water.

bottledwaterAn 82-year-old woman named Jean Hill orchestrated the ban, and it was passed at a town meeting this past spring. If the ban holds, beginning on January 1, bottled water will no longer be sold within the town.

by |June 24, 2010

Water and Energy – an Integrated Approach

In the news, electricity and resource use seems to get the most exposure – people are looking at emissions, global warming, and oil and coal dependence.  One thing that is for certain is that electricity use needs to decrease if we are to decreased our dependence on oil, our CO2 emissions, and become a greener… read more

by |May 20, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill

Last week, in the Gulf of Mexico, the Deepwater Horizon, an oil drilling rig for BP, exploded and sank. This has led to what potentially could be one of the worst oil spills in US history. Currently, oil is leaking at 42,000 gallons per day from a well 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, and currently there is not indication that the well will be closed in the near future.

by |April 28, 2010

Reflections on Haiti

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to travel to Haiti to install a weather monitoring station, as well as conduct streamflow measurements and water quality assessments with Water Center employee Lior Asaf.  Traveling to Haiti gave me my first exposure to how water and climate issues are affecting poor and developing countries, as well… read more

by |April 21, 2010

Water Footprinting – My Water Footprint

As an employee of the Columbia Water Center as well as a student studying Earth and Environmental Engineering (and focusing specifically on water resources), I consider myself a fairly water conscientious person. I take fast showers, turn off the sink when brushing my teeth, and drink primarily tap water to reduce my water footprint. However,… read more

by |March 31, 2010

A Truce in the California Water Wars

Nationally, the California Water Wars have been something people have been following for months.  As discussed by Water Center expert Tanya Heikkila in her September blog post “California’s other crisis,”  the state’s reservoirs had been significantly depleted and fights had been breaking out all over the state about who deserved water the most – farmers,… read more

by |March 1, 2010

Water Human Rights: Pollution

In my previous blogs, I have been discussing different ways in which the human right to clean water is violated. I have already discussed how economic scarcity occurs, and this week I will be discussing pollution of water. Pollution issues are largely leading to contamination of the water supplies around the world.  There are countless… read more

by |December 3, 2009

Water Human Rights: Physical Scarcity

In my previous blogs, I defended water as a human right and began the discussion of ways in which the human right to clean water is violated. I have already discussed how economic scarcity occurs, and this week I will be discussing physical scarcity of water. Physical scarcity is the issue that the water just… read more

by |November 10, 2009

Water Human Rights: Economic Scarcity

In my earlier blog, I began arguing that water is a human right, and that the extreme lack of potable water is a significant human rights violation.  The scale of the human rights violation of the right to drinking water is on an extremely large scale. The largest occurrence of this right being violated is… read more

by |October 29, 2009