The Columbia Water Center is leading intellectual inquiry into the assessment, understanding, and resolution of the most pressing global water issues, combining multidisciplinary academic research with solutions-based fieldwork in collaboration with other Columbia Climate School centers and programs as well as strategic partners.

What We Do

America's Water Initiative
America's Water Initiative

Building a network of academic institutions, government agencies, and private industry to research and inform water infrastructure improvements in the US through innovative management solutions, new technologies, and new policies.

Workers at a mine in Ghana
Promote Sustainable Mining

The mineral extraction industry, in particular, faces the dual challenge of increasing water management costs and growing public scrutiny of the often-irreversible effects of mining on local land and water resources.

Overhead view of the Everglades
Responding to Floods and Droughts

The Columbia Global Floods Initiative aims to save lives and protect livelihoods by helping policymakers, disaster relief agencies, infrastructure designers, financial institutions, and others better prepare for, manage, and respond to extreme floods.

Featured Stories

May 10, 2023

America's Water Education: Interview of Jermel Collins-Day by Nancy Degnan

For the third entry of our blog series, co-PI Nancy Degnan interviews Jermel Collins-Day, instructor of physical health at the Eagle Academies for the Young Men of Harlem and PhD candidate at Teachers College. Mr Collins-Day shares his perspective on culturally relevant and context-aware environmental education, highlighting shortcomings in teachers when out of touch with the difficulties students face.

State of the Planet

Strategies for Safe Drinking Water: Ensuring Lead-Free Taps for All
March 22, 2024

On World Water Day, Columbia researchers explore the best options for replacing America’s aging pipes.

Flooding in California: What Went Wrong, and What Comes Next
January 12, 2023

Climate School experts help to explain this devastating weather and what it means in the broader conversation of climate change and disaster response.

Year in Review: Our Top Stories of 2022
December 22, 2022

A list of some of our most popular articles and videos, plus some of our favorites that you shouldn’t miss.

Featured Projects

Rethinking Water 2022 Hosted by Sciens Water, Columbia Water Center, and Columbia World Projects
Climate Week: Rethinking Water 2022

Ensuring America’s Water Security: Designing, Financing & Managing Infrastructure for Climate Adaptation brought together experts from federal agencies, academia, private industry, NGOs, philanthropies, and the media to foster action-oriented discussions and target achievable goals.

Lighted board of stock market performance
Water and Financial Risk Management

CWC scientists are creating risk management options by analyzing local and global impacts of climate extremes and environmental disasters on supply chains, developing flood insurance schemes, and partnering with diverse stakeholders to improve the water-related metrics disclosed in ESG reports.

Covered overlook on the water's edge with mountains in the background
China's Water

The China Water Initiative aims to advance water resources research and sustainable management of water and related resources (energy, land, mining, food) through strategic partnership with government and private sector agencies in China.