• Water

    Agriculture is one of the world’s most insatiable consumers of water. Yet, it is facing growing competition for water from cities, industry, and recreation at a time when demand for food is rising, and water is expected to become increasingly scarce.

  • Water

    The University of Alberta will unveil new technologies its researchers and students will use to replace inadequate water purification and monitoring equipment in remote communities in Canada and India.

  • Water

    While many people recognize that clean water and air are signs of a healthy ecosystem, most do not realize that a critical part of the environment is right beneath their feet. The ground plays an important role in maintaining a clean environment by serving as a natural water filtration and purification system.

  • Water

    Despite these advances made under the Clean Water Act, sewage remains a major source of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and naturally occurring hormones found in the environment. New research shows the effectiveness of rural lagoon systems at removing these compounds from wastewater.

  • Water

    A new study using data from a pair of gravity-measuring NASA satellites finds that large parts of the arid Middle East region lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade. Scientists found during a seven-year period beginning in 2003 that parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran along the Tigris and Euphrates river basins lost 117 million acre feet (144 cubic kilometers) of total stored freshwater. That is almost the amount of water in the Dead Sea. The researchers attribute about 60 percent of the loss to pumping of groundwater from underground reservoirs.

  • Water

    Australian homes, towns, cities, farmers, and miners will rely increasingly on underground water as the country’s population grows, surface water supplies dwindle, and as droughts multiply under a warming climate. Trouble is, the authorities in charge do not have a clear idea exactly how much groundwater there is, how rapidly it is recharged — or how quickly it is being depleted. What is known is based on data largely supplied by 23,000 monitoring bores spread across the continent — more than two thirds of which are now falling into disrepair.

  • Food security

    Droughts can severely limit crop growth, causing yearly losses of around $8 billion in the United States. It may be possible, however, to minimize those losses if farmers can synchronize the growth of crops with periods of time when drought is less likely to occur. Researchers are working to create a reliable “calendar” of seasonal drought patterns that could help farmers optimize crop production by avoiding days prone to drought.

  • Water

    Despite increases in efficiency, water demand in the United States is likely to increase substantially in the future if climate continues to warm, new projections indicate.

  • Infrastructure

    A new tax aimed at property owners could finance the first set of improvements of the drainage works in Salisbury, Maryland since the original system was laid almost a century ago. City leaders have been arguing since 2009 over dedicating a source of funding to stormwater management, when an environmental panel recommended it. In the past, funding for projects like this has been hard to find as other priorities were deemed more important.

  • Water

    When people wash their hands with antibacterial soap, most do not think about where the chemicals contained in that soap end up. A new study determined that the common antibacterial agent, called triclosan, used in soaps and many other products, is found in increasing amounts in several Minnesota freshwater lakes.

  • Water

    As world food and energy demands grow, nations and some corporations increasingly are looking to acquire quality agricultural land for food production. Some nations are gaining land by buying up property — and accompanying water resources — in other, generally less wealthy countries.

  • Water

    Every year, 3.4 million people die from lack of access to fresh water globally; in East Africa, daily routines include women venturing miles to secure fresh water and bearing the heavy weight of water containers to secure less-than-desirable water; in an effort to bring fresh water to rural Kenyans, Penn State’s School of International Affairs (SIA) students have developed a ceramic water filtration system for parts of the sub Saharan African nation

  • Water

    Some forty million people depend on the Colorado River Basin for water, but warmer weather from rising greenhouse gas levels, and a growing population, may signal water shortages ahead; scientists predict a 10 percent drop in the Colorado River’s flow in the next few decades, enough to disrupt longtime water-sharing agreements between farms and cities across the American Southwest, from Denver to Los Angeles to Tucson, and through California’s Imperial Valley

  • Young scientists

    Ninth-grader Deepika Kurup of Nashua High School in New Hampshire won $25,000 and named America’s Top Young Scientist for her innovative new water-purification system; her prototype, which harnesses solar energy to disinfect contaminated water, can help improve the lives of the 1.1 billion people around the world who lack access to clean drinking water

  • Water

    Recent changes in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) surface water treatment rules mandate, among other things, more aggressive monitoring and control of various pathogens, notably including Cryptosporidium; this microbe, which can cause severe illness or death, is highly resistant to chlorine-based disinfection practices; as one means to reducing the threat, the EPA has called for treating water with ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which also serves as a “secondary barrier” to inactivate (prevent reproduction of) other key pathogens such as adenovirus and other viruses, as well as bacteria and parasites such as Giardia

  • Water wars

    Intelligence services and militaries around the world have been talking about, and preparing for, the danger of “water wars” and about climate change as a threat to national security; the results of an EU-funded research project, however, found that such discourses oversimplify a complex reality; climate and water resource changes are important, but play only a secondary role — at least for the time being — in the causation of conflict and insecurity compared to political, economic, and social factors

  • Security trends

    The U.S. National Intelligence Council, the research arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, yesterday released its Global Trends 2030; the report’s authors say that food, water, and energy will be more scarce; “Nearly half of the world’s population will live in areas experiencing severe water stress,” the report notes; Africa and the Middle East will be most at risk of food and water shortages, with China and India also vulnerable; one bright spot for the United States: energy independence sometime between 2020 and 2030

  • Water

    Visualize a dusty place where stream beds are sand and lakes are flats of dried mud; are we on Mars? In fact, we are on arid parts of Earth, a planet where water covers some 70 percent of the surface; how long will water be readily available to nourish life here? In the United States, more than thirty-six states face water shortages; other parts of the world are faring no better

  • Water

    Four of the world’s great rivers are all suffering from drastically reduced flows as a direct result of water extraction, according to new research; the researchers found that in all four river basins, over a long period of time, outflows have greatly reduced as a direct result of increased water extractions, and that urgent changes in governance of water are needed to ensure the systems remain healthy and viable

  • Water

    Groundwater provides drinking water for millions of Americans and is the primary source of water to irrigate cropland in many of the nations most productive agricultural settings; although the benefits of groundwater development are many, groundwater pumping can reduce the flow of water in connected streams and rivers — a process called streamflow depletion by wells; new USGS report describes processes and misconceptions concerning the effects of groundwater pumping on streamflow