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.”
Samantha Tress, Author at State of the Planet
Last month I went to visit our Mali project site with two other Water Center staffers. We visited the village and garden where we worked last year (Koila Markala and Tibibas, respectively) and many other gardens where we hope to work in the future.
There’s that water-energy nexus again – power plants in NYS are under scrutiny for damaging aquatic habitat and the DEC is working on a policy to limit their impact. Over 17 billion eggs, larvae and fish are killed each year, but opponents to the policy say it could cause NYS energy costs to sky-rocket.
Well-known oceanographer and documentary filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau and his organization, Ocean Futures Society, made 2 trips to the Gulf to study the impact that the oil spill is having on marine and terrestrial life. Cousteau is known for being an ocean explorer and documentarian, and for being the son of Jacques Cousteau. In 2 interviews… read more
‘Peak ecological water’ is the point at which so much water is being diverted from the environment for human use, that the ecosystem can no longer function normally. It can even get to the point that an ecosystem is irreversibly damaged, and there are estimates that humans already divert almost 50% of all accessible freshwater globally. According to their article, “Since 1900, half of the world’s wetlands have disappeared. The number of freshwater species has decreased by 50% since 1970, faster than the decline of species on land or in the sea. River deltas are increasingly deprived of flows due to upstream diversions, or receive water heavily contaminated with human and industrial wastes.”
Circle of Blue recently reported on the results of a survey of sustainability experts, and listed their top 19 solutions to the world’s freshwater crisis. The survey was done by GlobeScan, a corporate affairs research firm, and SustainAbility, a strategy consultancy. Respondents, drawn from five sectors — corporate, government (including multi-lateral institutions), NGOs, institutional (e.g.,… read more
My prior post about the “The Dead Sea Dilemma” summarized the current condition of the Dead Sea and the ecological value of the region. In this post I will briefly describe two solutions that have been suggested. The Red Sea to Dead Sea Water Conveyance project – a conduit to transport water from the Red… read more
There is one thing that people do agree on in the Middle East – the Dead Sea needs help. Its surface level is dropping by an average of three feet a year and the shoreline has retreated more than a mile in some locations. Over the past 50 years, the surface area of the Sea… read more
New York City’s Water Board (which determines the finances for Department of Environmental Protection’s water system) is proposing a water rate increase of 14% for fiscal year 2010. According to an article in the Daily News, the rate increase is needed because New Yorkers are using less water, meaning that DEP is earning less revenue…. read more
On March 10th Ju Young posted an extremely informative entry on bottled water, “Do you still drink bottled water?” The message to cut down on bottled water is still big in advertising, environmental groups, the media, politics, and just about everywhere else. It’s also an ongoing topic of discussion in the Water Center offices. In… read more