Solar and wind energy preserve groundwater for drought, agriculture

Solar and wind energy preserve groundwater for drought, agriculture

Using drought-prone California as a case study, a research team shows that increased solar and wind energy can reduce the reliance on hydropower, especially during drought. Credit: Egan Jimenez, Princeton University

Solar and wind farms are popping up around the country to lower carbon emissions, and these renewables also have another important effect: keeping more water in the ground.

A new Princeton University-led study in Nature Communications is among the … [more…]

Large hydropower dams ‘not sustainable’ in developing world

photo: lots of water flowing over dam spillway.

Photo: Problems at the Oroville dam in California in 2017 saw 10,000 people evacuated

A new study says that many large-scale hydropower projects in Europe and the US have been disastrous for the environment.

Dozens of these dams are being removed every year, with many considered dangerous and uneconomic.

But the authors fear that the unsustainable nature of these projects has not been recognised in the developing world.

Thousands of … [more…]

83% decline of freshwater animals underscores need to protect, restore freshwaters

photo: muskrat or beaver reflected in water. An 83% decline of freshwater animals underscores the need to protect and restore freshwaters

Certain groups of animals are declining at an alarming rate—and none more so than those living in freshwater.

This year’s Living Planet Report shows that populations of animals—including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians—plummeted by 60% between 1970 and 2014. But those living in freshwater are experiencing a far more drastic decline: 83% since 1970. It’s a sobering statistic and one tied directly to the ever-increasing pressures that people are … [more…]

Portland, USA, Goes Green with Water Pipes: Innovations in Hydropower

photo: worker installing turbine inside water pipes. Portland, USA, Goes Green with Water Pipes: Innovations in Hydropower

Sourcing renewable energy such as hydropower from aspects of ordinary life like drinking water is an innovative, fresh, and wonderful concept. And this is being done in Portland, which is the biggest city in the US state of Oregon as well as the seat of the Multnomah County. It is a big port in the Willamette Valley region in the Pacific Northwest. Portland, USA, now produces electricity from turbines which … [more…]