water matters Archives - State of the Planet

Water Matters, the blog of the Columbia Water Center, focuses on the assessment, understanding and resolution of the potentially global crisis of freshwater scarcity.

Study Finds Sewage Bacteria Lurking in Hudson River Sediments

A new study shows that fecal bacteria from sewage can persist in far greater quantities in near-shore sediments than in the water of the Hudson River.

by |December 13, 2018
Road Salt Runoff Stains

How Road Salt Harms the Environment

Recent research indicates that salt is accumulating in the environment and poses an emerging threat both to ecosystems and human health.

by |December 11, 2018

National Climate Assessment: Will U.S. Water Problems Worsen?

Upmanu Lall is director of the Columbia Water Center, and the lead author of the new U.S. National Climate Assessment’s chapter on water resources. The report paints a dire picture of the nation’s climate future. We spoke with Lall about the outlook for water supplies, quality and infrastructure.

by |November 26, 2018

Using Artificial Intelligence To Locate Risky Dams

In the U.S., some 2,000 high hazard dams are in need of repairs. A project from the Columbia Water Center is helping to identify the most hazardous ones.

by |August 23, 2018

New Study Shows Promise for Long-Term Weather Forecasts in South America

The Paraguay River is an essential lifeblood for the landlocked country that shares it name, but it can also be the source of deadly and costly floods. Now scientists are one step closer to predicting the likelihood for heavy rain weeks ahead of time.

by |August 6, 2018
water rushes out of oroville dam spillway

America’s Water Infrastructure is Failing—But Here’s How We Could Start to Fix It

A recent event hosted by the Columbia Water Center highlights the challenges and opportunities that nation’s beleaguered water system presents.

by |May 8, 2018

How We Can All Make Waves: Earth Day Reflections from Columbia Water Center

Members of Columbia Water Center share what Earth Day means to them, and offer ways – large and small – that we can all advocate for water and a healthier planet.

by |April 20, 2018
hurricane track simulation

Predicting Hurricane Flooding Risks to the East Coast

Columbia University researchers to help translate hurricane science into projections for planning for climate and weather risks.

by |April 9, 2018

Researchers Map High Levels of Drugs in the Hudson River

In a new study, researchers have mapped out a large variety of discarded pharmaceuticals dissolved throughout the Hudson River. They say that in some places, levels may be high enough to potentially affect aquatic life.

by |February 19, 2018
cape town reservoir Theewaterskloof Dam

Cape Town Water Crisis Highlights a Worldwide Problem

Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center, explains South Africa’s water shortage and why places in the U.S. could be at risk, too.

by |February 9, 2018