• Water securityThe Answer to Groundwater Resources Comes from High in the Sky

    Groundwater makes up 30 to 50 percent of California’s water supply, but until recently there were few restrictions placed on its retrieval. Then in 2014 California became the last Western state to require regulation of its groundwater, and water managers in the state’s premier agricultural region – the state’s Central Valley – are tasked with estimating available groundwater. It’s a daunting technological challenge – but scientists can help by pairing satellite data with high-resolution monitoring to estimate groundwater depletion.

  • Water securityLessening Water Quality Problems Caused by Hurricane-Related Flooding

    June 1 is the start of hurricane season in the Atlantic, and with 2020 predicted to be particularly active, residents in coastal regions are keeping watchful eyes on the weather. Flooding is often the most damaging effect of tropical storms, and one of the first casualties of large-scale is the quality of water sources in the flooded areas.

  • Energy securityFrom ocean waves to electricity: clean power for our planet

    By Brian Blum

    The prevailing wisdom for wave energy capture has been to construct a large installation offshore, a few kilometers in the middle of the sea. But, says one expert, that’s expensive and unreliable. Offshore waves can reach tsunami-like heights that can pulverize the equipment, so few insurance companies have been willing to cover these kinds of installations and, if they do, it’s at a high cost. There is a less expensive, safer alternative: Installing “floaters” on existing manmade structures – piers, jetties and breakwaters – and putting the main energy-creating equipment with its sensitive computers and generators on land.

  • Water securityGlobal Glacier Melt Raises Sea Levels, Depletes Once-Reliable Water Source

    The melting of glaciers and ice caps in places as diverse as the Himalayas and Andes mountain ranges, the Svalbard island group and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago has the dual effect of raising global sea levels and depleting freshwater resources that serve millions of people around the world.

  • Water securityOilfield Water Can Safely Be Reused for Irrigation in California

    Reusing low-saline oilfield water mixed with surface water to irrigate farms in the Cawelo Water District of California does not pose major health risks, as some opponents of the practice have feared, a new study finds.

  • Water securityComparing Water Risk Tools for Companies and Investors

    Faced with worsening water security across the globe, companies and investors are increasingly concerned about the water risks faced by their operations, supply chains and investments – and looking for tools to help to assess these risks. New report details similarities and differences between three leading water tools.

  • Water securityChanges in Snowmelt Threaten Farmers in Western U.S.

    Farmers in parts of the western United States who rely on snowmelt to help irrigate their crops will be among the hardest hit in the world by climate change, a new study reveals. The study pinpointed basins globally most at risk of not having enough water available at the right times for irrigation because of changes in snowmelt patterns. Two of those high-risk areas are the San Joaquin and Colorado river basins in the western United States.

  • Food securityIrrigation Expansion Could Feed 800 Million More People

    Agriculture, which accounts for 90 percent of global water use, is the largest driver of water scarcity worldwide, and it is often the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations that suffer the severest consequences. A new study suggests that there is enough locally available water to expand irrigation over 140 million hectares of agricultural lands.

  • Climate challengesMore Accurate Climate Change Model Reveals Bleaker Outlook on Electricity, Water Use

    By 2030, global warming alone could push Chicago to generate 12 percent more electricity per person each month of the summer. If the city generated any less electricity, it would be risking a power shortage that may require drastic measures to avoid rolling blackouts, according to projections from a model designed by Purdue University researchers.

  • Water securityArid American West is Moving East as Groundwater Depletes

    Loss of groundwater may accelerate drying trends in the eastern United States, according to research that applied supercomputing to create an in-depth model of how groundwater will respond to warming. Even under modest climate warming scenarios, the continental United States faces a significant loss of groundwater – about 119 million cubic meters, or roughly enough to fill Lake Powell four times or one quarter of Lake Erie.

  • Water securityOn-Demand Drinking Water from Air

    Providing potable drinking water to deployed troops operating in low resource or contested environments is no simple undertaking. Logistics teams face great risk delivering water and often incur what would otherwise be preventable casualties. Low-power extraction technologies could capture potable water from ambient arid air, giving deployed troops greater mission flexibility.

  • Water securityAdding Hard-to-Reach Water to the Water Supply

    More than 20 percent of the world’s population are dependent on karst groundwater. In these regions, large amounts of water seep into the porous rock and are available at great depths only. Moreover, karst water is susceptible to pollution. Use for sustainable water supply is a challenge in threshold and developing countries.

  • Water securityUsing the Internet of Things for Water Security

    A cluster of internet-enabled devices, including a water-flow sensor, pH sensor, ultrasonic sensor, and “PIC” microcontroller, may be used together as a watchdog system for water quality.The simple and low-cost system being developed by the team of researchers in India makes water quality assessment and water security widely available without the need for sophisticated technical knowledge.

  • Water securityPlants Demand More Water as Climate Warms, Leaving Less for People

    As climate changes, plants in North America, much of Eurasia, and parts of central and South America will consume more water than they do now, leading to less water for people, according to a new study. The research suggests a drier future despite anticipated increases in precipitation in populous parts of the United States and Europe that already face water stresses.

  • African securityTensions Rise between Egypt and Ethiopia over Nile Dam Project

    Tension is rising between Egypt and Ethiopia over the huge Ethiopian dam project on the Nile. Egypt is worried that the construction of the Renaissance Dam, a $4 billion dollars project launched by Ethiopia in 2012 and scheduled to start operations in 2022, will substantially reduce water flow in the Nile. Egypt depends on the Nile for about 90 percent of its water supply. Egypt insists on a guarantee from Ethiopia that Egypt would receive a minimum of 40 billion cubic meters of water annually, but Ethiopia argues that this would give Egypt an unreasonably large share of the Nile’s water.