Seven graphics explain the state of the world’s water resources

To recognize the importance of water for everything we do, we compiled seven graphics that explain the state of the world’s vital water resources.

Every person on Earth should have access to reliable water supplies. Water is essential for sanitation, hygiene and daily survival, but in some places conflict over water is becoming more commonplace.

Human Activity is Changing Water Distribution

Half of the surface water in some countries has been depleted between 1984 and 2015, according to an analysis of satellite imagery from the European Commission Joint Research Centre. However, about twice as … [more…]

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…]

California voters rejected Proposition 3. Where now on water?

photo: irrigation canal in central California. Voters rejected Proposition 3. Where now on water?

In this Feb. 25, 2016 file photo, water flows through an irrigation canal to crops near Lemoore, Calif. Rich Pedroncelli AP

California voters have rejected Proposition 3, the $8.9 billion water bond, sending a message to politicians. But what is that message?

It can’t be that the state’s water problems have been solved. They haven’t been.

It can’t be that Californians don’t care about water. Poll after poll shows we … [more…]

Benefits of Groundwater Recharge Demonstrated in Lodi Vineyards

photo: flooding a vineyard in order to recharge the groundwater supply.

Costa Vineyards in Lodi is successfully using groundwater recharge in this 14-acre Zinfandel block. Photo: Ted Rieger

Groundwater is a major source of irrigation water for California agriculture and is increasingly being managed and regulated to address the overdrafting of aquifers in many of the state’s groundwater basins. The ability to capture and store water for future use through groundwater recharge on existing farmlands has been demonstrated in recent years, … [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…]