• Water securityWater Efficiency Achievable Throughout U.S. without Decrease in Economic Activity

    A recent study showed that targeted efforts to increase water efficiency could save enough water annually to fill Lake Mead. It could happen without significantly compromising economic production, jobs or tax revenue.

  • Water securityOverhauling the Circulatory System of the American West

    It might be tempting to think of cowboys and cattle drives, but the real story of the American West can be summed up in one word: water. While the costs might be daunting, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) has teamed up with the Oregon-based Farmers Conservation Alliance to radically reimagine the role of irrigation systems in the West.

  • Water securityDuring Droughts: Where Is the Water?

    In low precipitation periods – where and how is the limited available water distributed and what possibilities are there for improving retention in the soil and the landscape?

  • Flint water crisisSimultaneous, Reinforcing Policy Failures Led to Flint Water Crisis

    Concurrent failures of federal drinking water standards and Michigan’s emergency manager law reinforced and magnified each other, leading to the Flint water crisis, according to a University of Michigan environmental policy expert. Flint’s experience offers lessons during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated local financial challenges while highlighting the importance of access to clean, safe drinking water.

  • 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.