Much of the developed world has an aging infrastructure, while the developing world has inadequate infrastructure to meet urban water needs. Water and energy efficiency are recognized as key goals. Together, these factors are asking societies to revisit how water should be allocated and priced; what should be the designs for new infrastructure, and how climate and other risks are best managed.
The Columbia Water Center is researching innovative solutions to these problems—recognizing the public and private sector roles and opportunities, and the unique water, climate and socio-economic settings around the world. Our work stresses analytics at multiple scales, from technologies at the farm level, to new systems-level thinking in the design of urban smart water grids, reservoir and groundwater operations, ecosystems restoration, water-informed agriculture and food procurement and national and regional water policy. Sophisticated water demand/supply and flood forecasts using climate information and their integration with financial risk management instruments are central to our work.