State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

drinking water

  • Strategies for Safe Drinking Water: Ensuring Lead-Free Taps for All

    Strategies for Safe Drinking Water: Ensuring Lead-Free Taps for All

    On World Water Day, Columbia researchers explore the best options for replacing America’s aging pipes.

  • Clay Layers and Distant Pumping Trigger Arsenic Contamination in Bangladesh Groundwater

    Clay Layers and Distant Pumping Trigger Arsenic Contamination in Bangladesh Groundwater

    Widely considered a screen against contamination, clay layers may actually enhance arsenic leakage into some aquifers, study finds.

  • Journalists and Geochemists Team Up to Test for Lead in Newark’s Water

    Journalists and Geochemists Team Up to Test for Lead in Newark’s Water

    With help from local tv station Univision 41, Earth Institute scientists tested how well Newark’s lead filters are working. The results support new findings from city officials.

  • Testing Fluoride Levels in Indian Wells

    Testing Fluoride Levels in Indian Wells

    A team of researchers taught social science students to test for high fluoride levels in their own villages, and experimented with creative ways to get the word out about the dangers of fluorosis.

  • Photo Essay: The Dead Sea, Living Waters and Megadrought

    Photo Essay: The Dead Sea, Living Waters and Megadrought

    Thousands of years before Biblical times, during a period when temperatures were unusually high, the lands around the Dead Sea now occupied by Israel, Jordan and surrounding nations suffered megadroughts far worse than any recorded by humans. Warming climate now threatens to return such conditions to this already hard-pressed region.

  • The Importance of Regulating Lead in Drinking Water

    The Importance of Regulating Lead in Drinking Water

    Many schools are being tested for lead in their water. But what about the libraries, hospitals, offices and old apartment buildings? As I observe the new president and his EPA designee, I worry about the adverse effect deregulating environmental protection would have on our families. There is more work to do if we are to…

  • Get the Facts: Arsenic in New Jersey Well Water

    Get the Facts: Arsenic in New Jersey Well Water

    A new initiative aims to help homeowners in New Jersey cope with arsenic contamination in private wells—a problem that has only come to light in recent years, and about which many homeowners are still unaware.

  • #100. Taking a Fresh Look at Five Issues

    #100. Taking a Fresh Look at Five Issues

    This is the 100th blog I’ve written for the State of the Planet. It seemed like a good occasion to take a look at my five most popular blogs to see what has changed in the years since they were written. Is the news better or worse for seawater greenhouses, plastic pollution, turning wastewater into…

  • Battling ‘the Largest Mass Poisoning in History’

    Battling ‘the Largest Mass Poisoning in History’

    As many as one in five deaths in Bangladesh may be tied to naturally occurring arsenic in the drinking water; it is the epicenter of a worldwide problem that is affecting tens of millions of people. For two decades, health specialists and earth scientists from Columbia University have been trying to understand the problem, and…

Columbia campus skyline with text Columbia Climate School Class Day 2024 - Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to our Columbia Climate School MA in Climate & Society Class of 2024! Learn about our May 10 Class Day celebration. #ColumbiaClimate2024

  • Strategies for Safe Drinking Water: Ensuring Lead-Free Taps for All

    Strategies for Safe Drinking Water: Ensuring Lead-Free Taps for All

    On World Water Day, Columbia researchers explore the best options for replacing America’s aging pipes.

  • Clay Layers and Distant Pumping Trigger Arsenic Contamination in Bangladesh Groundwater

    Clay Layers and Distant Pumping Trigger Arsenic Contamination in Bangladesh Groundwater

    Widely considered a screen against contamination, clay layers may actually enhance arsenic leakage into some aquifers, study finds.

  • Journalists and Geochemists Team Up to Test for Lead in Newark’s Water

    Journalists and Geochemists Team Up to Test for Lead in Newark’s Water

    With help from local tv station Univision 41, Earth Institute scientists tested how well Newark’s lead filters are working. The results support new findings from city officials.

  • Testing Fluoride Levels in Indian Wells

    Testing Fluoride Levels in Indian Wells

    A team of researchers taught social science students to test for high fluoride levels in their own villages, and experimented with creative ways to get the word out about the dangers of fluorosis.

  • Photo Essay: The Dead Sea, Living Waters and Megadrought

    Photo Essay: The Dead Sea, Living Waters and Megadrought

    Thousands of years before Biblical times, during a period when temperatures were unusually high, the lands around the Dead Sea now occupied by Israel, Jordan and surrounding nations suffered megadroughts far worse than any recorded by humans. Warming climate now threatens to return such conditions to this already hard-pressed region.

  • The Importance of Regulating Lead in Drinking Water

    The Importance of Regulating Lead in Drinking Water

    Many schools are being tested for lead in their water. But what about the libraries, hospitals, offices and old apartment buildings? As I observe the new president and his EPA designee, I worry about the adverse effect deregulating environmental protection would have on our families. There is more work to do if we are to…

  • Get the Facts: Arsenic in New Jersey Well Water

    Get the Facts: Arsenic in New Jersey Well Water

    A new initiative aims to help homeowners in New Jersey cope with arsenic contamination in private wells—a problem that has only come to light in recent years, and about which many homeowners are still unaware.

  • #100. Taking a Fresh Look at Five Issues

    #100. Taking a Fresh Look at Five Issues

    This is the 100th blog I’ve written for the State of the Planet. It seemed like a good occasion to take a look at my five most popular blogs to see what has changed in the years since they were written. Is the news better or worse for seawater greenhouses, plastic pollution, turning wastewater into…

  • Battling ‘the Largest Mass Poisoning in History’

    Battling ‘the Largest Mass Poisoning in History’

    As many as one in five deaths in Bangladesh may be tied to naturally occurring arsenic in the drinking water; it is the epicenter of a worldwide problem that is affecting tens of millions of people. For two decades, health specialists and earth scientists from Columbia University have been trying to understand the problem, and…