State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


A New Look at Global Water Scarcity from Columbia Water Center

Here at the Columbia Water Center, we tackle the issue of global water scarcity through a number of diverse projects located in many regions around the world. From creating a municipal water plan for Milhã, Brazil to helping farmers in Gujarat, India solve the issue of groundwater depletion through innovative irrigation practices and incentive programs that would reward them for conserving energy and water, Columbia Water Center is committed to sharing and disseminating the knowledge from research and development projects we have completed and are currently working on. We aim to create a collaborative environment in which progress towards understanding and addressing the increasing demands and scarcity of freshwater can be made in the 21st century. To help visualize and gain a more in-depth look at what we are working on, Columbia Water Center has released an updated research projects section of its website.

The first thing you’ll notice on the new section is an interactive map, which visually lays out the Water Center’s projects around the world. It’s as easy as clicking on a colored region to zoom in and find out more details about the issues faced in that particular community and what we are doing to help.

The new interactive map featuring the Water Center's work around the world.

Along the left column of the new research projects section is a list of all the countries that the Water Center is working in for easy navigation. Clicking on each country link will bring you to a detailed page outlining the scope of the problems faced in that region as well as the initiatives that are being taken to solve their water crisis. Included are additional resources including photos taken by the Water Center staff, relevant blog posts, and research papers that involve water issues within that region.

The residents of Ingá, Brazil with their new water tank.

Go ahead and check out the revamped research and development projects section to learn more about:

  • an innovative rainwater harvesting system in Ethiopia designed to catch rainwater and recharge the groundwater aquifers
  • the impacts of sea level change on the Florida Everglades.
  • interstate river “compacts” or agreements that establish rules for allocating water across state lines in the Western USA
  • climate forecasting in Brazil
  • risks climate change poses to the water supply in Central Asia
  • the demonstration of new water-saving agricultural technologies in India
  • and more!

Columbia Water Center Projects Site

We hope you enjoy exploring this varied and groundbreaking water-scarcity work and please let us know what you think of the site by leaving a comment below.

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Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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Charlie Madden
13 years ago


We are developing wind powered thermal stills for fitting to water barges.

Is any help available?

Best regards


Julia Apland Hitz
13 years ago

I’m afraid that isn’t one of the Water Center’s projects, but we would like to learn more about it. Thanks for asking.

Arthur Michael Ambrosino
13 years ago

Dear Julia Apland Hitz:
I want to thank you for the link
I do not know how you fit into that wonderful library of extra ordinary images, but I hope you work for Upmanu. Manu is a friend of mine and has written an appreciation of the work I am doing since leaving the Earth Institute, on my website. I’m wondering how you think my project fits into the Water Centers Global Water Scarcity initiatives? Please visit to gain a glimpse of how freshwater impoundments can completely pay for themselves anywhere in the world where high-grade metamorphic terrains shed economically important minerals.

Very kind regards,
Arthur Michael Ambrosino