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Punjab: Less Water, More Money (Part 1)

In an earlier blog, I highlighted the story of declining groundwater in many parts of India. This story is one of agricultural intensification and widespread groundwater pumping, facilitated by highly subsidized or free electricity. As the Government of India sought food security for the nation, it promoted the procurement of rice and wheat from the… read more

by |October 13, 2009

Punjab: A tale of prosperity and decline

The state of Punjab, located in the northwest part of the country, is known as the breadbasket of India. Punjab produces 20% of the nation’s wheat, 11% of its rice, and 11% of its cotton, from only 1.5% of its geographical area.  Punjab is in trouble, however; groundwater is rapidly decreasing. Water levels have dropped… read more

by |July 28, 2009

Meet the Students Studying Environmental Issues in the Middle East in 2019

This July, Columbia University and Tel Aviv University will send graduate students to the Middle East to learn about the environmental challenges facing communities in Jordan and Israel.

by |July 9, 2019
water flowing from a pipe

Columbia Water Center: A Decade of Cutting Edge Research

To mark its anniversary, the Columbia Water Center has released a new report highlighting its achievements over the past decade. Read an excerpt, then download the full report.

by |January 3, 2019

Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork: 2017 and Beyond

On every continent and ocean, Earth Institute field researchers are studying the dynamics of climate, geology, natural hazards, ecology and other subjects with direct applications to the challenges facing humanity.

by |March 6, 2017

Can Climate Litigation Support Global Action on Climate Change?

The Paris Climate Agreement officially goes into effect Nov. 4. But it will take much more to achieve its goals. Legal challenges could well provide one way for individuals, civil society and governments to support and reinforce global action on climate change.

Overuse of Water by Indian Farmers Threatens Supply

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.

by |April 14, 2015

Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork, 2015 and Beyond

On every continent and ocean, Earth Institute field researchers study the dynamics of climate, geology, ecology, human history and more. Here is a list of expeditions going on this year, and beyond.

by |March 10, 2015

Indian Government Takes Steps on Agriculture, Water, Climate

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.

by |July 23, 2014

In India, Reducing the Dependency on Monsoon Precipitation

The Centers for International Projects Trust has undertaken various low cost technological innovations to reduce the amount of water used for the production of rice and wheat in India. Such innovations not only reduce water usage in agriculture but also make farmers less vulnerable to climate variability, especially as it relates to the monsoon season.

by |May 28, 2014