Water Quality Archives - State of the Planet

clean water and pebbles on beach

Coronavirus Is Improving Water Quality — For Now, At Least

With less pollution entering the air, our waterways are getting cleaner. Whether or not they stay that way is up to us.

by Marco Tedesco |June 8, 2020

Water Quality Concerns Extend Well Beyond Flint

Researchers at the Columbia Water Center have been analyzing trends in drinking water quality violations. A critical lesson is that water quality violations extend well beyond the problem of lead in Flint’s drinking water.

by |November 2, 2016

How Well is the World Protecting Ecosystems and Human Health?

The new global environmental report card is out. The 2016 Environmental Performance Index graded 180 countries on how well they are protecting human health and their ecosystems. While the world is making progress in some areas, it is seriously falling behind in others.

by |February 18, 2016

Putting Knowledge to Work in the Real World: The Capstone Projects

The study of sustainability management and environmental policy is put to the test when applied to solving real world problems. Students in Columbia University’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management and Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy programs presented their final capstone projects done for real clients.

by |May 11, 2015

After Sandy, Testing the Waters

During Hurricane Sandy the seas rose a record 14-feet in lower Manhattan. Water flooded city streets, subways, tunnels and even sewage treatment plants. It is unclear how much sewage may have been released as plants lost power or were forced to divert untreated wastewater into the Hudson River. Four days after Sandy, the environmental group… read more

by |November 19, 2012

The Fairytale of “Organic” Water

Time and time again, marketing teams have proven that people will buy pretty much anything. So many examples exist that the topic was enough for Brooks Jackson to write an entire book about it. One of the more recent flim-flam schemes is selling organic water. Wait a tick, did I just say that? Yes, I… read more

by |July 15, 2011

Recruiting Tiny Organisms to Detect Water Pollution

Climate change has huge implications for water pollution, so with increasing climate change effects and the concern that many regions on the planet are approaching peak water, timely water pollution detection is critical.

by |February 8, 2011

Solving Urbanization Challenges by Design – The Science of Green Roofs (part 2)

Patricia J. Culligan is a professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics at Columbia University and the Vice Dean of Academic Affairs for Columbia Engineering. In part two of this interview she talks about the challenge of quantifying the economic benefits of green roofs, the potential for rooftop agriculture, and what it means to “solve urbanization challenges by design.”

by |February 2, 2011

Solving Urbanization Challenges by Design – The Science of Green Roofs

Patricia J. Culligan, professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics, discusses her work with the Columbia University Green Roof Consortium to quantify the benefits of green roofs.

by |January 31, 2011

Fluoridation of Water: Communist Conspiracy, Genuine Threat or Both?

Who can forget the scene from Kubrick’s classic movie Dr. Strangelove of screws-loose General Jack D. Ripper pontificating to straight-laced British group captain Lionel Mandrake about the dangers of fluoride in water…

by |December 23, 2010