• Water SecurityUsing AI to Provide the World with Drinking Water

    Though water covers 71 percent of earth’s surface, more than 2.5 billion people in the world lack access to fresh water at least once a month. Researchers are seeking new possibilities in water purification through using AI agents in the desalination process.

  • Water SecurityGroundwater Flow to Colorado River May Decline by a Third over Next 30 Years

    A new study projects that a hot and dry future climate may lead to a 29 percent decline in Upper Colorado River Basin “baseflow” at the basin outlet by the 2050s, affecting both people and ecosystems. Baseflow is the movement of groundwater into streams and, on average, accounts for more than 50 percent of annual streamflow in the Upper Colorado River Basin.

  • Water SecurityManaging Water Resources in a Low-to-No-Snow Future

    With mountain snowpacks shrinking in the western U.S., a new Lab study analyzes when a low-to-no-snow future might arrive and implications for water management.

  • Water SecurityMaking Desalinated Water Safer, Cheaper

    Approximately 80 percent of drinking water in Israel is desalinated water, coming from the Mediterranean Sea. Israeli scientists and colleagues develop an effective and low-cost way to remove toxic boron from water in the process of desalination.

  • Water SecurityNuclear Physics Used to probe Floridan Aquifer Threatened by Climate Change

    Florida is known for water. Between its beaches, swamps, storms and humidity, the state is soaked. And below its entire surface lies the largest freshwater aquifer in the nation. As rising sea levels threaten coastal areas, scientists are using an emerging nuclear dating technique to track the ins and outs of water flow.

  • Water securityAvoiding Water Bankruptcy in the Drought-Troubled Southwest: What the U.S. and Iran Can Learn from Each Other

    By Mojtaba Sadegh, Ali Mirchi, Amir AghaKouchak, and Kaveh Madani

    In August, the U.S. government issued its first ever water shortage declaration for the Colorado River, triggering water use restrictions. The fundamental problem is the unchecked growth of water consumption. The Southwest is in an “anthropogenic drought” created by the combination of natural water variability, climate change and human activities that continuously widen the water supply-demand gap.

  • Water securityLowering the High Cost of Desalination

    Removing salt and other impurities from sea-, ground- and wastewater could solve the world’s looming freshwater crisis. A suite of analytical tools makes it easier for innovators to identify promising research directions in making saltwater potable.

  • Water securityChanging Climate Increases Need for Water Diplomacy

    The dispute between Ethiopia and its neighbors over the massive Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile is but one example of how the climate change-driven growing scarcity of water may soon lead countries to engage in what, a decade ago, British intelligence called “water wars.” These growing tensions need to be tackled in new ways.

  • Water securityCalif.’s Central Valley: Increased Pumping During Drought in Worsens Groundwater Quality

    Researchers, examining thirty years of data from California’s Central Valley, found that intensive pumping of aquifers during drought can speed up deterioration of groundwater quality.

  • Water tensionsIran-Afghanistan Water Dispute: A Test of Tehran's Ties to Taliban

    By Shabnam von Hein

    An old dispute over water rights could be the first test of Iran’s planned pragmatic cooperation with the Taliban. Without a functioning environmental agency, though, it is unclear who in Afghanistan can address the conflict.

  • Water securityRiver Backwaters and High Water Quality Standards

    Clean drinking water is essential. Scientists are investigating how water quality in riverine floodplains, often used as drinking water resources, changes as a result of heavy rainfall and flooding.

  • Water securityAs Western U.S. Is Experiencing a 1,000 Year Drought, Desalination Could Be a Solution

    By Renee Cho

    The Western United States is currently experiencing what one paleoclimatologist called “potentially the worst drought in 1,200 years.” The region has had many droughts in the past, including “megadroughts” that last decades, but climate change is making dry years drier and wet years wetter. One possible solution is the desalination of seawater, but is it a silver bullet?

  • Water securityTracking Water Storage: Improving Water Management During Floods, Droughts

    Researchers have created a balance sheet for water across the United States – tracking total water storage in 14 of the country’s major aquifers over 15 years. With longer-term droughts and intermittent intense flooding expected in the future, particularly in the arid western U.S., there is rising concern about overtaxing water resources in the region, especially for irrigated agriculture.

  • ARGUMENT: Water systems securityWater Systems Vulnerable to Cyberthreats

    In February, a hacker tried to manipulate the water utility’s computers in Oldsmar, Fla. so that the level of lye in the water would be raised. Joel Griffin writes that “had the perpetrator not been caught…. this cyber-attack could have resulted in actual physical harm to residents and potentially even deaths. The simplicity of this cyber-attack … also illustrates the gravity of the situation facing water utilities,” as they try to implement contemporary IT security solutions to decades-old equipment ad operational technology.

  • Water securityWarming to Affect Water Availability for Hydropower, Public Water Supply in Wales

    New research shows that as the temperature increases, water supplies in Wales dwindle, leading to shortages for both the hydropower industry and public water consumptions. As the temperature rises, more water will have to be released from reservoirs to satisfy consumer demands – but such releases will lower water levels in the reservoirs below the needs of hydropower generation.