State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Partnering for Change: Columbia Water Center Collaborates on World Water Day

Each year, World Water Day brings awareness to global water stress by bringing together public and private stakeholders on a range of water-related topics. Through the efforts of UN System, corporations and NGOs, World Water Day 2014 brings attention to the water-energy nexus with the aim of promoting the development of policies and crosscutting frameworks that bridge governments and economic sectors.  Taken together, these efforts will help to facilitate energy security and sustainable water use in a green economy.

WWD 2014 In an effort to spur discussion around solutions to water stress, the Columbia Water Center is collaborating with several corporate stakeholders on key World Water Day events. The events serve to create dialogue and educate the public on the specific causes of and solutions to water stress in hotspots around the globe and within the United States.

One example of these efforts is the Columbia Water Center’s recent participation in a World Water Day video produced by GE Power and Water.  The video, called “Perspectives on the Water-Energy Nexus,” includes insight from Columbia Water Center director Prof. Upmanu Lall and GE’s President and CEO of Water and Process Technologies, Heiner Markhoff. In the video, the two spoke on the importance of water in  energy production and new technologies that promote efficient water use.


The video comes on the heels of another public discussion with business leaders through a GE Power and Water-sponsored Google Hangout on the Water Energy Nexus. The hangout features insight from several key industry influencers on challenges to domestic and global freshwater supply and new developments in technology to address those challenges.

In addition to the communications created with GE Power and Water, the Columbia Water Center is spearheading an event to bring attention to domestic water stress through the America’s Water initiative, a multidisciplinary program that brings together industry, government and academic experts to create a coherent and sustainable national water agenda in the United States. Through the auspices of this initiative the Water Center is hosting a webinar in collaboration with the U.S. Water Partnership, featuring panel discussions with water experts and corporate sustainability leaders from PepsiCo, Veolia Water North America and Hazen and Sawyer, to name a few.

The events around World Water Day help to highlight the Water Center’s successes in helping stakeholders understand water stress. By  bringing together corporate partners and utilities in particular, the Columbia Water Center not only promotes awareness around water issues but is also creating a framework for major stakeholders to take action to  protect freshwater resources and develop a green economy.  On World Water Day and beyond, these innovative and vital efforts are something we can all celebrate.

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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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