America’s Water Blog

News and opinion from the Columbia Water Center about America’s water challenges and opportunities .

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Michelle Ho: In a Land of Plenty, Big Water Problems

May 1, 2017
Michelle Ho grew up in Australia, the driest inhabited continent, with an appreciation for the value of having a clean glass of water to drink. Now, she conducts research for the Columbia Water Center on America’s water systems. Read More

Water Quality Concerns Extend Well Beyond Flint

November 2, 2016
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. Read More

Bridging the Gap Between Science and Policy for Water Security

July 8, 2016
To tackle the challenge of how to effectively educate important stakeholders about ground water in the United States, 11 graduate students from the Earth Institute and School of International and Public Affairs MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program were asked to recommend a strategy to improve scientific literacy among policymakers and investors. Read More

Presidential Politics: Water Supply and Contamination

June 29, 2016
The federal government needs to develop and implement a plan to solve problems with our water infrastructure, pollution and growing scarcity. How will the next president act? Read More

Flint Crisis Opens Door on Water Problems Around U.S.

February 15, 2016
Experts from the Columbia Water Center, the Earth Institute and affiliates talk about the municipal water crisis in Flint, Mich., the nature of the crisis and what it means for America’s Water. Read More

With El Niño, Be Careful What You Wish for

November 16, 2015
In Southern California, a strong El Niño usually signals rain. Given that California is now in the throes of a severe drought, it seems like that should be a good thing, even if it comes with risk of floods. But the reality of climate is more complex and counter-intuitive than it first appears. Read More

Learning from a River’s History to Prepare for the Future

August 17, 2015
Researchers from eight universities, including Columbia University, are using tree ring and glacier analysis to reconstruct the climate history of the Missouri River Basin in order to give policymakers and water managers better decision-making tools to manage the river. Read More

U.S. Drought Risk Wider than Previously Thought

May 4, 2015
New research from the Columbia Water Center suggests that many more places in the United States are at risk of drought-induced water stress than is commonly thought, including dense metropolitan regions such as New York City and Washington, D.C. Read More

Waking up to America’s Water Challenges

March 19, 2015
"Will it take another Dustbowl for Americans to start paying attention to water issues?" asked Water Center Director Upmanu Lall. Or will it be the chance to create the "iPhone technology" of water? Whether the impetus is crisis or opportunity, according to Lall, the time to act is now. Read More

How Much Arsenic is Too Little?

August 29, 2014
Five hundred utilities in the U.S. provide drinking water with unsafe levels of arsenic, the Environmental Protection Agency says. But how many people are getting too much arsenic in their water is much less clear, according to a study conducted in part by the Columbia Water Center. Read More
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