• Water management interventions push water scarcity downstream

    Human interventions to harness water resources, such as reservoirs, dams, and irrigation measures, have increased water availability for much of the global population, but at the same time, swept water scarcity problems downstream.

  • Helping repair California's water infrastructure

    Recent extreme weather has put increased stress on California’s aging water infrastructure and highlighted the fact that the state must invest billions to improve and repair its civil infrastructure. The California Policy Center reports the infrastructure is currently designed to serve 20 million people in a state with a population of 40 million. The state relies on CSU water management, engineering, agriculture, and construction management experts to renovate aging dams, canals and aqueducts.

  • New water filtration technology uses 1,000 times less energy

    With global demand for clean water increasing, there is a continuing need to improve the performance of water treatment processes. A new process for water filtration using carbon dioxide consumes one thousand times less energy than conventional methods, scientific research published this week has shown.

  • Europe’s economy vulnerable to global water scarcity, drought

    A new study of the impacts that increasing water scarcity and drought may have on the European Union’s (EU) economy finds that around 38 percent of the EU’s water demand lies outside its borders because many of the goods consumed by its citizens or used by its businesses are produced abroad. “The highest risk that the European meat and dairy sector will face due to climate change and weather extremes lies outside its borders. This is because it is highly dependent on soybean imports from locations that are vulnerable to water scarcity and drought,” says one expert.

  • Home styles linked to high water use

    Affluent neighborhoods with lawns — and occasionally swimming pools — use up to ten times more water than neighborhoods with higher density housing with less landscaping, according to a new study. The study points to the water-saving benefits of high-density neighborhoods such as more use of hardscaping, non-vegetative landscapes, as well as native plants in landscapes, which use less water than lawns.

  • Desert communities and the search for hidden water

    In the 1800s, cowboys, ranchers, and miners quarreled over water in the American Southwest, over where to find it, and who could use it. Today, desert communities throughout the Southwest are still putting water availability at the top of their municipal agendas. one area stands out from the rest: the upper Santa Cruz Basin in Arizona has shown a remarkable capacity to store water. What causes the higher water availability in this area?

  • Western U.S.: Loss in water from melting snowpack due to human influence

    Peak runoff in streams and rivers of the western United States is strongly influenced by melting of accumulated mountain snowpack. A significant decline in this resource has a direct connection to streamflow, with substantial economic and societal impacts. An international team of scientists has found that up to 20 percent loss in the annual maximum amount of water contained in the western United States’ mountain snowpack in the last three decades is due to human influence.

  • New filtration method makes water safe to drink

    Researchers have created a membrane that removes viruses from treated wastewater and makes it safe for drinking. The new ultrafiltration method does not rely on chlorine, the commonly used chemical to purify water, which can cause contamination.

  • Identifying, utilizing water resources in Africa drylands

    Researchers say that by 2050, almost half of the world’s population will live in countries with a chronic water shortage. In African drylands, it is not a water shortage problem, but an inability to capture water for food and other uses. Israeli scientists help villagers in Ethiopia, Zambia, and Uganda to identify water sources and test water quality – and also better capture and use water which is available.

  • Smart handpumps predict depths of groundwater in Africa

    The amount of groundwater in Africa is estimated to be over 100 time’s greater than annual renewable freshwater sources in the region. Around one million hand pumps supply groundwater to people in rural Africa. Groundwater is used by around 200 million rural Africans every day because it is a widely available, reliable, and safe source of drinking water. Yet according to a new research paper, although groundwater is critical to Africa’s growth and development, there is currently too little data to effectively manage this critical resource.

  • Potentially explosive methane gas mobile in groundwater, poses safety risk

    Potentially explosive methane gas leaking from energy wells may travel extensively through groundwater and pose a safety risk, according to a new study. Researchers found the gas is highly mobile in groundwater, travelling far beyond the shale wells where it is drilled and changing the water chemistry. It will also escape into the atmosphere as a powerful greenhouse gas.

  • Roll, Jordan, Roll? -- Where the Jordan River stops flowing

    A new study argues that Israel’s Jordan River may be a useful case study for the challenges facing stream restoration initiatives around the world. The Jordan River has been ravaged by unbridled population growth and defunct sewage treatment plants, and the river now has only 3 percent of its original flow. “No river enjoys better PR and has worse environmental conditions than the Jordan River,” says a researcher.

  • 11 percent of disappearing groundwater used to grow internationally traded food

    Wheat, rice, sugar, cotton and maize are among the essential internationally traded crops in the global economy. To produce these crops, many countries rely on irrigated agriculture that accounts for about 70 percent of global freshwater withdrawals, according to the United Nations Water program. One freshwater source is underground aquifers, some of which replenish so slowly that they are essentially a non-renewable resource.

  • EPA awards $100 million to Michigan for Flint water infrastructure upgrades

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week awarded a $100 million grant to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to fund drinking water infrastructure upgrades in Flint, Michigan. The funding, provided by the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016, or WIIN, enables Flint to accelerate and expand its work to replace lead service lines and make other critical infrastructure improvements.

  • Map shows seawater threat to California Central Coast aquifers

    More than half the world’s population lives within 37 miles (60 kilometers) of the coast, and three-quarters of all large cities are located in coastal areas. Many coastal communities rely on groundwater to satisfy their drinking and farming water needs. But removing too much of that groundwater can change the fluid pressure of underground aquifers, drawing seawater into coastal aquifers and corrupting water supplies. Saltwater intrusion is often irreversible. Researchers have transformed pulses of electrical current sent 1,000 feet underground into a picture of where seawater has infiltrated freshwater aquifers along the Monterey Bay coastline.