• A Looming Crisis for Local U.S. Water Systems?

    Water bills in the U.S. are eating up a growing share of household budgets — and becoming increasingly unaffordable for low-income families. In many cities, shrinking populations and aging infrastructure mean increasingly unaffordable water.

  • Preventing Cybersecurity Disruptions by Training Workforce

    Two cybersecurity researchers have published a new book to help train employees at public utilities to recognize cybersecurity vulnerabilities and develop measures to defend their networks from increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

  • Finding Toxic Chemicals in Drinking Water

    Most consumers of drinking water in the United States know that chemicals are used in the treatment processes to ensure the water is safe to drink. But they might not know that the use of some of these chemicals, such as chlorine, can also lead to the formation of unregulated toxic byproducts.

  • Capturing Potable Water from Air

    DARPA recently awarded five contracts and selected one government partner to develop technology to capture potable water from the air in quantities sufficient to meet critical DoD needs, even in extremely dry climates. The Atmospheric Water Extraction (AWE) performers aim to meet clean water needs of deployed troops, even in austere environments.

  • Improving Water Security for People in Africa and Asia by 2024

    New funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will support global research and practice to improve water security for 10 million people in Africa and Asia. The FCDO’s grant to the University of Oxford will now extend to 2024 and increase to £22.5 million, to support the REACH program improve water security by delivering world-class science to transform policy and practice.

  • Hydrology Data Tool Helps Manage Water Resources, Protect Infrastructure

    River systems are essential resources for everything from drinking water supply to power generation – but these systems are also hydrologically complex, and it is not always clear how water flow data from various monitoring points relates to any specific piece of infrastructure. A new tool that draws from multiple databases to give water resource managers and infrastructure users the information they need to make informed decisions about water use on river networks.

  • Projecting the Future Trade of Virtual Water

     Crops require water to grow. By importing water-intensive crops, countries essentially bring in a natural resource in the form of virtual water. Agricultural virtual water is the amount of water needed to grow a particular crop in a given region.

  • Water 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.

  • Overhauling 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.

  • During 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?

  • Simultaneous, 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.

  • The 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.

  • Lessening 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.

  • From ocean waves to electricity: clean power for our planet

    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.

  • Global 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.