Wastewater Archives - State of the Planet

Studying Sustainability in Israel: It’s Complicated

MPA in Environmental Science and Policy students travel to Israel to learn more about the geopolitical climate and resource management as a tool for peace.

by |February 11, 2019

Columbia Researchers Help With Plan to Restore and Protect the Hudson River

A comprehensive plan outlines ways to clean up the Hudson River and reduce the impacts from development and climate change.

by |September 18, 2018

Cleaning Up New York City’s Waters and Beyond: Q&A with Kartik Chandran

Kartik Chandran, an environmental engineer at Columbia, will discuss some of his urban wastewater treatment projects at a panel discussion Friday following the screening of a new film about Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay.

by |June 7, 2017

Latest Environmental Performance Index Introduces New Indicators

Innovations in the 2014 EPI include a new wastewater treatment indicator; a new approach to climate change indicators; and two new satellite-derived indicators for air quality and forests.

by |January 25, 2014

Nature’s Toxic Crusaders

Can mushrooms help clean up oil spills? Can oysters filter sewage pollution? Industrial waste is being injected into the planet’s soil and water as a result of human activity. Pioneers in the field of conservation and sustainability are employing nature’s own biological task force to help clean up.

by |September 12, 2012

Urban Wastewater: One Man’s Waste Is Another Man’s Treasure

How can we overcome the main challenges we face in our urban wastewater systems today? Are there opportunities to improve sustainability in water treatment systems in US cities to support local food security?

by |March 21, 2012

From Wastewater to Drinking Water

Across the globe, 2 out of 10 people do not have access to safe drinking water, and in the U.S., many states face water shortages and droughts. As the global population continues to grow and climate change results in more water crises, where will we find enough water to meet our needs?

by |April 4, 2011

Sewage treatment isn’t rocket science – except when it is

It’s a case of finding a use for what was thought of as waste. Sewage treatment processes produce methane and nitrous oxide, both greenhouse gasses, while leaving undesirably high levels of nitrogen in the discharged water. On their own, all three of these things are harmful to the environment. Stanford University reports that a team has found a way to take those unwanted waste gasses and use them to 1) reduce the amount of nitrogen in the water, 2) produce an alternative energy source and 3) dispose of the nitrous oxide cleanly – by using it as rocket fuel, in fact.

by |July 27, 2010

DRBC Gives Tentative Go Ahead to Fracking in PA — New York Skips the Meeting

According to the Delaware River Basin Commission, over 15 million people—about five percent of the nation’s population–rely on the Delaware River Basin for “drinking, agricultural, and industrial use.” New York City alone gets half its water from reservoirs located on tributaries of the Delaware. It’s no understatement, then, to suggest that the commission—a regional body… read more

by |July 22, 2010

No More Pavement! The Problem of Impervious Surfaces

Recent research, according to the New York Times, indicates that urban areas are about to get hotter — much hotter. Not exactly what blistering New Yorkers want to hear after one of the more brutal, record-breaking heat waves in memory. Of course climatologists (and most of the rest of us) have known for a long… read more

by |July 13, 2010