America's Water Initiative Archives - State of the Planet

water flowing from a pipe

Columbia Water Center: A Decade of Cutting Edge Research

To mark its anniversary, the Columbia Water Center has released a new report highlighting its achievements over the past decade. Read an excerpt, then download the full report.

by |January 3, 2019

National Climate Assessment: Will U.S. Water Problems Worsen?

Upmanu Lall is director of the Columbia Water Center, and the lead author of the new U.S. National Climate Assessment’s chapter on water resources. The report paints a dire picture of the nation’s climate future. We spoke with Lall about the outlook for water supplies, quality and infrastructure.

by |November 26, 2018

First Impressions at Columbia’s Earth Institute

It has been a fantastic first few weeks at the Earth Institute in my role as the new director. Reflecting on this early time here, I’d like to highlight something that I found particularly special about the Earth Institute: activities that go beyond Columbia and engage with the real world.

by |May 23, 2018
cape town reservoir Theewaterskloof Dam

Cape Town Water Crisis Highlights a Worldwide Problem

Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center, explains South Africa’s water shortage and why places in the U.S. could be at risk, too.

by |February 9, 2018
water center icon

Columbia Water Center Year in Review

The Columbia Water Center (CWC) is a leader in applying the science of water and climate to solve real world problems. With current events in mind, we worked with our partners to make progress on several key projects.

by |December 29, 2017

Rural America’s Drinking Water Crisis: No Help From Trump Budget

O’Brien is just one of thousands of small communities in the United States that struggle to find the resources to ensure that the water coming out of the tap is safe to drink. The budget proposal by the Trump administration will only make matters worse.

by |June 13, 2017

America’s Dam Crisis: Was Oroville Just a Drop in the Bucket?

Columbia Water Center experts argue that dam infrastructure issues must be connected to a broader conversation about America’s water resources.

by |May 31, 2017

Michelle Ho: In a Land of Plenty, Big Water Problems

Michelle Ho grew up in Australia, the driest inhabited continent, with an appreciation for the value of having a clean glass of water to drink. Now, she conducts research for the Columbia Water Center on America’s water systems.

by |May 1, 2017

An Ancient Tool Holds Promise for Modern Water Problems

The potential effectiveness of harvesting rainwater to bolster water supply and reduce potentially polluting runoff varies greatly from place to place, even within a particular city or neighborhood. Now researchers at the Columbia Water Center have developed a tool to assess the potential of rainwater harvesting throughout the United States.

by |March 22, 2017

Water Quality Concerns Extend Well Beyond Flint

Researchers at the Columbia Water Center have been analyzing trends in drinking water quality violations. A critical lesson is that water quality violations extend well beyond the problem of lead in Flint’s drinking water.

by |November 2, 2016