Validated global estimates of environmental flow requirements
Environmental demands for freshwater have received limited consideration in assessments of global water availability. Until now.
Every water management decision is a tradeoff: Scientists argue that the cost of ecosystem services lost when free-flowing rivers are modified should make its way into decision-making tools and assessment protocols.
Existing systems for allocating water could leave some rivers high and dry. A recent study explored how a marketplace for water might better protect critical water resources.
In water scarce regions, the concept of “virtual water” may help communities make tough decisions regarding competing water uses.
Cumulative pressures on the global water cycle threaten social stability. An integrated approach to water management that crosses traditional boundaries between business, political, and ecological systems is required to ensure harmonious social and economic development.
A recent study explored how businesses might value the critical ecosystem services provided by water — and how valuations could drive decision-making.
Water scarcity intensifies freshwater ecosystem degradation. A new study evaluates the compounding effects of several stressors on water-scarce ecosystems in order to construct better management strategies.
Groundwater contamination from agricultural sources threatens drinking water quality in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Application of a geospatial tool may help farmers, researchers, and regulators identify farmland contributing to the problem.
Rain-fed agriculture and international trade may help buffer the impacts of increasing world-wide water scarcity on food availability and economic welfare.
The drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires the injection of specific mixtures of water, sand, and chemicals into the ground, a key concern around shale extraction. A recent study examined the movement of these fracturing fluids in groundwater.
Although exhibited in different ways, similar forces drive water management decisions in Israel and in Arizona. Understanding these motivating factors is crucial when developing successful and effective water management approaches.
In a recent study, researchers developed an approach to help companies make more informed water decisions based on which suppliers use more or less water throughout the supply chain.
Multiplied by hundreds of wells, total shale gas use in the Wattenberg Shale in northeastern Colorado is in the vicinity of a billion gallons or more — and in a basin that is actively seeking new water sources to meet existing demand.
New research shows a staggering groundwater loss in the Colorado River Basin that threatens water supplies and future water security for seven Western states and Mexico.
A national carbon policy may exasperate water shortages in the western United States. Yet, the high cost of water reduction in the electricity sector makes it an unlikely candidate for mitigating water consumption in light of climate change and carbon policies.
In Changzhou, China 10% of the city’s energy footprint is related to water usage. Through strategic water conservation efforts, policy-makers can simultaneously conserve water and energy, save taxpayer money, and reduce climate change impacts.
Aquifer storage and recovery may represent an efficient, effective, and safe water storage option for maintaining drinking water and environmental supplies in Florida.
Scientists examine how riparian restoration projects influence amphibian and reptile species and suggest several methods that natural resource managers can use to improve river rehabilitation projects.
As ocean surface temperatures heat up and urban coastal populations continue to grow, climate models predict an increase in the number of intense storms and corresponding economic damage.
The most widespread techniques for increasing water supplies under climate uncertainty are also those with the greatest potential to spread disease. How can communities best adapt?
Diving tourism can help conserve marine wildlife and coastal ecosystems. To live up to its potential to conserve nature as well as to sustain popularity diving management including environmental education is key.
The Great Lakes – our largest global reserve of freshwater – are under attack from invasive species, and a new study provides an estimate of what this will cost us.
Though shale gas extraction with the use of hydraulic fracturing has been underway in the U.S. for about a decade, peer-reviewed literature looking at its impacts has only begun to be published. Some of the articles that were among the first published on the environmental impacts, and remain among the most talked about, are described here.
Previous research on hydraulic fracturing has indicated possible contamination of water wells by methane. A new research article attempts to model potential contamination pathways to aquifers from Marcellus shale gas beds.
Drinking water wells are only 60 to 90 meters below the surface, while the Marcellus Shale is at depths of 1,200 to 2,500 meters. Still, new research suggests that, because of the hydrology of northeastern Pennsylvania, hydraulic fracturing poses a risk to these shallow drinking water resources.
A new study calculates the total water usage for shale-gas production in Texas. While the total water usage doesn’t overwhelm state resources currently, the variability in local conditions over time will call for more careful consideration of water resources in the future.