Lakis Polycarpou, Author at State of the Planet - Page 3 of 8

Lakis Polycarpou is a professional author and freelance writer. His articles for State of the Planet have covered water scarcity, climate change, drought, flood, food security, supply chains, geopolitics and other topics. Between 2010 and 2016, Lakis worked with the Columbia Water Center to articulate and communicate innovative solutions to global water and climate challenges. He can be contacted at

Recent Posts

Deeper than Water — New Video and Infographics from the Columbia Water Center

As population grows and demand for food and products increase, so does our demand for water. But in the face of growing pressure on our water resources from depletion, pollution and climate change, we need to make more of what we have.

by |March 22, 2012

Water and Food Facts for World Water Day

March 22 is World Water Day, and its theme this year—water and food security—couldn’t be more pressing. But what do we really know about water—where it goes, what it’s used for, and how to preserve it?

by |March 19, 2012

Finding the Link Between Water Stress and Food Prices

Over the past decade, average global food prices have more than doubled, with 2008 and 2010 seeing excruciating price spikes that each had far-reaching economic, geopolitical and social consequences.

by |March 16, 2012

The Groundwater Crisis and the “Grass that Grows in the Water”

Rice is the world’s third-largest crop after wheat and corn; by some estimates it accounts for fully one-fifth of the total calories consumed by the human race. Given these facts, it’s not surprising that countries that have historically struggled with devastating famine would do whatever it takes to ensure strong production of the grain, even if it meant promoting growing practices that would ultimately prove unsustainable.

by |March 7, 2012

Columbia Water Center Scientists to Present New Findings at the AGU Fall Meeting

The American Geophysical Union’s fall conference is coming up! The meeting will be held in San Francisco from December 5th to the 9th — as usual, Columbia Water Center scientists and associates will be giving a number of presentations covering a dizzying array of topics.

by |November 30, 2011

Asia’s Motown Meets Waterworld–The Global Water Supply Chain Crisis

Since July, an almost unceasing torrent of rain has soaked Thailand, flooding farms, roads, factories, and finally Bangkok itself, a city of some 12 million people; so far at least 500 people have died. To date the government has ordered evacuations of 12 of the city’s 50 districts, even as water continues to creep through… read more

by |November 9, 2011

Sprouting Trees From the Underground Forest — A Simple Way to Fight Desertification and Climate Change

Beginning in Niger in the 1980s, Tony Rinaudo, an African aid missionary, began working with farmers to develop a new approach to reforesting degraded landscape. The practice he developed involved selective pruning of shrub shoots to a main stem, which was then pruned of its lower leaves and branches. Within a few years, new woodlands were growing.

by |October 18, 2011

Using Tree Rings to Understand and Protect New York’s Water

The upper Delaware River Basin System is one of the largest water supply systems for the city of New York. Today our understanding and management of these reservoir systems is based on the short historical records of data, which are limited. Scientists need to find a way to look further into the past. One of the answers lies in tree rings.

by |October 6, 2011

Mosquito Traps for the Future

The New York Times reported yesterday on a new, simple approach to mosquito control that—if accurate–could be a game changer in the world’s efforts to eradicate mosquito-borne diseases.

by |September 29, 2011

Water, Oil, Food – A Crisis for Saudi Arabia and the World

A water crisis is unfolding in Saudi Arabia that could have profound implications for both the Saudi people and for the rest of the world.

by |September 14, 2011