Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Water Resources (51 found)

You can't dodge the impacts of climate change

New research shows that climate change has profoundly altered another region. The victim this time is a mountainous region in northwestern China. 

The power of social media: Reducing financial damages during disasters

Can social media reduce disaster impacts? If so, how much? A recent study successfully explored the influence of social media in reducing financial damages during the 2011 Bangkok flood and quantified the impact. 

Wastewater in Delhi: Not all viewpoints are equal

In Delhi, scientists, municipal workers, and people living in unauthorized settlements have vastly different understandings of the city’s wastewater challenges. Using an urban political ecology lens, a new case study links problems of wastewater with the way legitimacy is awarded to competing systems of knowledge in the city. 

Dry times lead to the blues: Drought takes a mental toll on public health

Drought is a common and widespread occurrence in the United States. A new study explores the complex relationship between drought and mental health by creating a causal process diagram that can be used to guide further prevention efforts, public health programming, and vulnerability, and risk assessment.

Global health community is needed to help fight climate change

A team of medical professionals and scientists says that experts from different disciplines need to work together in order to prevent, diminish, or adjust to the negative consequences of climate change. 

Drought and cooperation in a conflict zone

Despite decades of tension, a new case study reveals that Muslim Bedouin herders and Jewish farmers cooperated during the severe drought of 1957 to 1963, offering new insights into how societies deal with environmental changes.

Learning to share: How a network with diverse goals changed the way the Colorado River Delta is governed

A transnational network in the Colorado River Delta successfully shifted governance toward environmental restoration. Through information sharing, capacity building, and rule setting, this network paved the way for science-based solutions and public participation.

Disappearing glaciers pose downstream threat in Pacific Northwest

Glaciers are melting at high rates worldwide due to changes in global temperature. New research shows that in Canada most glaciers present in inland areas will disappear by 2100, creating water supply challenges throughout the Pacific Northwest.

A blueprint for managing water resources through collaboration

Sustainable water management requires collaborative partnerships between diverse stakeholders. A research team describes the range of partnerships possible.

Virtual water flows and trade: The complex relationship between agriculture and water

What can a snapshot of virtual water flows tell us about the agricultural sector? Where is it vulnerable? How does it compare to global virtual water trade?

What does sea level rise have to do with an inland spring?

While disappearing beaches and coastal flooding are the most commonly considered impacts of sea level rise, a recent study shows that the impacts will extend to inland springs.

A story of global pesticide contamination

For the first time, a meta-study shows risks of insecticide exposure to surface waters — even in countries with stricter environmental regulation.

Lessons learned from large-scale river restoration

Public-private partnership approaches to natural resource management are on the rise. Members of the Dolores River Restoration Partnership share how they collectively work toward large-scale river restoration.

In water conservation, a ‘gentle nudge’ can go a long way

While previous studies have shown that social approaches to reduce water use are effective in the short-term, recent findings indicate that the effects are persistent in the long-term as well. 

Validated global estimates of environmental flow requirements

Environmental demands for freshwater have received limited consideration in assessments of global water availability. Until now.

A (free-flowing) river runs through it

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.

U.S. drought risk for the 21st century is worsened by a changing climate

The Southwest and Central Plains are likely to experience conditions that rival the worst droughts of the past 1000 years.

Protecting the flow: Study explores market scenarios for water

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.

Are virtual water calculations helpful in informing regional water policy?

In water scarce regions, the concept of “virtual water” may help communities make tough decisions regarding competing water uses.

Water crowding, precipitation shifts, and a new paradigm in water governance

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 business case for ecosystem service valuation: Water in the Brazos

A recent study explored how businesses might value the critical ecosystem services provided by water — and how valuations could drive decision-making.

The compounding effects of multiple stressors on freshwater environments

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.

Mapping agricultural water contamination risk in California’s Central Valley

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.

The role for global food markets in water-stressed world

Rain-fed agriculture and international trade may help buffer the impacts of increasing world-wide water scarcity on food availability and economic welfare.

Fracking fluids in the Marcellus: Does it mix with groundwater?

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.

Incorporating the water-energy ‘nexus’ into policy talks

A recent paper explores how optimization can help industry’s water and energy understanding, usage, and policies.

A tale of two rivers: Comparing water management strategies at the Jordan and Colorado rivers

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.

New performance indicator
helps inform corporate water decisions

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.

Fish slow to adapt behaviors to climate change

Rising COlevels in the world’s oceans interfere with the ability of some fish to avoid predators, a condition to which fish will be slow to adapt.

Assessing effects of shale gas
extraction in water-scarce region

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.

Massive groundwater losses detected in the Colorado River Basin

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. 

Does air pollution increase fresh water availability?

Why recent improvements in air pollution may have shrunk river flows in the northern hemisphere.

Forest regrowth as a counterbalance to climate variability

A resurgence of forest cover in the North Carolina Piedmont has a significant effect on stream discharge and drought timing. 

Carbon policies may neglect the interest of water scarce areas

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. 

Thirsty World: Hydrology alone doesn’t determine water supply in Peru’s Santa River Basin

Incorporating human behavior into hydrology models is critical to predicting water availability

Water usage in cities tied to greenhouse gas emissions

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.

Arsenic control during aquifer storage and recovery cycle tests in the Floridan aquifer

Aquifer storage and recovery may represent an efficient, effective, and safe water storage option for maintaining drinking water and environmental supplies in Florida.

Does river restoration help reptiles and amphibians?

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.

Hurricane Season: Do Warmer Oceans Mean More Cyclone Damage?

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.

Water for All, Disease for Some?

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 tourists with environmental awareness can conserve oceans

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.

Economic impact of invasives in the Great Lakes

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. 

Foreseeing and Managing the Water-Renewable Energy Nexus

The inevitable expansion in renewable energy infrastructure will require keen attention and careful management of restricted water supplies.

Hydraulic Fracturing "cheat sheet" for Peer-reviewed Literature

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.

Possible contamination pathways from fracking

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.

Shale-gas extraction and hydraulic fracturing accompany methane contamination of drinking water

Scientists explore how and what kind of methane makes it into natural gas wells.

Fracking and the threat of drinking water contamination

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.

Shale-gas extraction calls for water awareness in Texas

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.

The true cost of water quality violations

The government is supposed to provide clean drinking water.  But, in many cases, they aren’t and consumers are paying for it.

Injustice in U.S. water distribution

Some populations – often those with the fewest resources and constituting a racial minority – ultimately pay more for basic water and sewer services than others.

Untreated wastewater kills coral

Coral reefs are one of the most critically endangered ecosystems on the planet, and untreated human waste is contributing to their decline.