State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Water Pricing

  • Water, Water Everywhere, But Nary a Drop to Drink

    Water, Water Everywhere, But Nary a Drop to Drink

    It is a unique challenge of our generation that many in the developing world have cellular phones and TVs, but lack reliable access to water. Odd, perhaps, given that water is marketed as essential for life, a human right, and heart rending pictures of women and children walking miles to fetch water are routinely flashed…

  • China’s Decade Plan for Water

    China’s Decade Plan for Water

    For the first time, China’s No. 1 central document outlining the government’s priorities for the coming year focuses on the construction of water resources acknowledging its importance as a “strategic resource” and its necessity to the economy.

  • Bottled Water – Big Business in Indonesia

    Bottled Water – Big Business in Indonesia

    The movement to challenge the bottled water industry has come a pretty long way in countries like the USA, Australia and Canada. Public education campaigns by organizations like the Council of Canadians, Pacific Institute and Corporate Accountability International, have debunked the myth that bottled water is necessarily cleaner or healthier than tap water, and emphasized…

  • A Human Right to Water – Can it Make a Difference?

    A Human Right to Water – Can it Make a Difference?

    Despite the UN’s 2010 resolution on the human right to water, debate continues over how useful a rights approach really is. Even if we identify water as a human right, where the state is the principal duty-bearer, will it improve access to water for communities in need?

  • Cooling the Former Frontier: Using Water to Save Energy

    Cooling the Former Frontier: Using Water to Save Energy

    AC units have become more efficient over the years, but energy consumption during hot summer months can increase significantly, boosting both the amount of money spent on electricity and the volume of greenhouse gasses emitted in the energy production process.

  • The Fairytale of “Organic” Water

    The Fairytale of “Organic” Water

    Time and time again, marketing teams have proven that people will buy pretty much anything. So many examples exist that the topic was enough for Brooks Jackson to write an entire book about it. One of the more recent flim-flam schemes is selling organic water. Wait a tick, did I just say that? Yes, I…

  • Ripple Effect Author Talks Efficiency; Cleanup

    Ripple Effect Author Talks Efficiency; Cleanup

    The outlook for global water is bleak, but Alex Prud’Homme still believes in the power of human ingenuity.

  • Toxic Waters in the Gilded State

    Toxic Waters in the Gilded State

    To those who have never been, the Golden State is known for luxurious palm tree-lined avenues, sun-drenched beaches, and picturesque mountains. But not all parts of California were created equal. The state’s San Joaquin Valley hosts a scene entirely different from the images of Malibu beaches depicted in travel brochures. It is the non-glittering core…

  • A Right, a Need, or an Economic Good? Debating our Relationship to Water

    A Right, a Need, or an Economic Good? Debating our Relationship to Water

    Debates about the human right to water, and the role of the state or private companies in ensuring access, illustrate that water provision is anything but apolitical.

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

  • Water, Water Everywhere, But Nary a Drop to Drink

    Water, Water Everywhere, But Nary a Drop to Drink

    It is a unique challenge of our generation that many in the developing world have cellular phones and TVs, but lack reliable access to water. Odd, perhaps, given that water is marketed as essential for life, a human right, and heart rending pictures of women and children walking miles to fetch water are routinely flashed…

  • China’s Decade Plan for Water

    China’s Decade Plan for Water

    For the first time, China’s No. 1 central document outlining the government’s priorities for the coming year focuses on the construction of water resources acknowledging its importance as a “strategic resource” and its necessity to the economy.

  • Bottled Water – Big Business in Indonesia

    Bottled Water – Big Business in Indonesia

    The movement to challenge the bottled water industry has come a pretty long way in countries like the USA, Australia and Canada. Public education campaigns by organizations like the Council of Canadians, Pacific Institute and Corporate Accountability International, have debunked the myth that bottled water is necessarily cleaner or healthier than tap water, and emphasized…

  • A Human Right to Water – Can it Make a Difference?

    A Human Right to Water – Can it Make a Difference?

    Despite the UN’s 2010 resolution on the human right to water, debate continues over how useful a rights approach really is. Even if we identify water as a human right, where the state is the principal duty-bearer, will it improve access to water for communities in need?

  • Cooling the Former Frontier: Using Water to Save Energy

    Cooling the Former Frontier: Using Water to Save Energy

    AC units have become more efficient over the years, but energy consumption during hot summer months can increase significantly, boosting both the amount of money spent on electricity and the volume of greenhouse gasses emitted in the energy production process.

  • The Fairytale of “Organic” Water

    The Fairytale of “Organic” Water

    Time and time again, marketing teams have proven that people will buy pretty much anything. So many examples exist that the topic was enough for Brooks Jackson to write an entire book about it. One of the more recent flim-flam schemes is selling organic water. Wait a tick, did I just say that? Yes, I…

  • Ripple Effect Author Talks Efficiency; Cleanup

    Ripple Effect Author Talks Efficiency; Cleanup

    The outlook for global water is bleak, but Alex Prud’Homme still believes in the power of human ingenuity.

  • Toxic Waters in the Gilded State

    Toxic Waters in the Gilded State

    To those who have never been, the Golden State is known for luxurious palm tree-lined avenues, sun-drenched beaches, and picturesque mountains. But not all parts of California were created equal. The state’s San Joaquin Valley hosts a scene entirely different from the images of Malibu beaches depicted in travel brochures. It is the non-glittering core…

  • A Right, a Need, or an Economic Good? Debating our Relationship to Water

    A Right, a Need, or an Economic Good? Debating our Relationship to Water

    Debates about the human right to water, and the role of the state or private companies in ensuring access, illustrate that water provision is anything but apolitical.