Water Quality Archives - Page 2 of 3 - State of the Planet

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

Jamaica Bay, a refuge for wildlife in New York City, gets protection

The good news is that the migratory birds and resident marine life of Jamaica Bay may be getting a reprieve. In February, Mayor Bloomberg, the State Environmental Council and the Natural Resources Defense Council announced an agreement that would improve water quality and preserve the wetlands of Jamaica Bay. The Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan commits to restoring degraded marshlands and reducing nitrogen discharge into the bay by 50 percent over the next ten years at a cost of $115 million to the city alone. Federal funds and resources are expected to supplement the project.

by |July 6, 2010

A Visit to Gowanus

I recently took a trip to the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn to visit its infamously polluted (and smelly) canal. After decades of controversy, the Environmental Protection Agency recently named the canal as a Superfund site—one of the few such designations in an inner-urban area. In its report, the EPA found that the Gowanus Canal “has become one of the nation’s most extensively contaminated water bodies,” with contaminants including “PCBs, coal tar wastes, heavy metals and volatile organics.”

by |June 23, 2010

The Importance of Wetlands

As we continue to see ever-more disturbing images on the shores of Louisiana from the gulf oil spill, it’s worth thinking again about the immense ecological importance of wetlands and why they must be protected. Oil from the leak has already filtered up from the beaches into Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, killing wildlife there. Ironically, last… read more

by |June 9, 2010

The Problem of Lawns

In the United States, lawns are so ubiquitous that they seem to be almost a basic human right. That’s a serious problem, given the enormous resources that our North American lawn-fetish consumes.

by |June 4, 2010

The Economist: Special Report on Water, a primer for the water crisis

The Economist has released a Special Report on Water, dated May 22nd, 2010, written by John Grimond. The 18 page report contains 9 short but substantial articles giving an overview of global water issues.

by |May 21, 2010

Reflections on Haiti

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to travel to Haiti to install a weather monitoring station, as well as conduct streamflow measurements and water quality assessments with Water Center employee Lior Asaf.  Traveling to Haiti gave me my first exposure to how water and climate issues are affecting poor and developing countries, as well… read more

by |April 21, 2010

Water you drinking?

With Jenni’s recent post on “Water Human Rights: Pollution,” I started to question the safety and current state of the public water system here in the United States. Charles Duhigg’s New York Times article confirmed my suspicions of the potentially dangerous quality of water in the US municipal water system. The Clean Water Act of 1972 and… read more

by |December 19, 2009

Reclaimed Water: Safe to Drink?

People often cringe at the thought of water that was once wastewater being treated and used as drinking water. However, in Tampa, Florida, voters will be deciding next year on whether to use reclaimed water as part of the city’s drinking water. Reclaimed water, also known as recycled water, is highly treated wastewater that is… read more

by |June 23, 2009

U.S., Canada, re-opening negotiations on Great Lakes water quality

On Saturday, June 13, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with her Canadian counterpart, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon, in Niagara Falls to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Boundary Waters Treaty.  While the Treaty governs all international waters shared by Canada and the USA, its primary application is to Great Lakes’ policy.  As part of the… read more

by |June 16, 2009