• 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.

  • Water securityFire Today Will Impact Water Tomorrow

    The effects of wildfire don’t end when the flames go out. There can be environmental consequences for years to come—and keeping an eye on water is key.

  • Water securityAction Essential to Protect Water Security from Climate Impacts

    A new report says that urgent action is needed to protect global water security from the impacts of climate and climate change.

  • 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.

  • Water securitySmartphone Screens Effective Sensors for Soil or Water Contamination

    The touchscreen technology used in billions of smartphones and tablets could also be used as a powerful sensor, without the need for any modifications.

  • Water securityGermany's Water Management Caught between Flood and Drought

    By David Ehl

    For a long while now, there has been talk of a drought in Germany; now, many regions have been deluged with water. How do authorities prepare for these two extremes?

  • Water securityColorado River’s Low-Flow Sheds Light on Eventual New Normal for Grand Canyon

    The Colorado River follows a 1,450-mile route generally southwest from north central Colorado to just east of Las Vegas. From there it turns south to form Arizona’s western border with Nevada and California, and then the border between Mexican states Sonora and Baja California before emptying into the Gulf of California. Between the U.S. and Mexico, 40 million people depend on water from the Colorado.As the climate continues to warm and the amount of water available for humans continues to drop, low flows may become the new normal, he added.

  • Water securityHarvesting Fresh Water from Humidity around the Clock

    Fresh water is scarce in many parts of the world and must be obtained at great expense. Communities near the ocean can desalinate sea water for this purpose, but doing so requires a large amount of energy. Further away from the coast, practically often the only remaining option is to condense atmospheric humidity through cooling. Current technologies allow water harvesting only at night, but a new technology, for the first time, allows water harvesting 24 hours around the clock, even under the blazing sun.