When pondering the best way to study the impact of climate change, researcher Hans Joachim Schellnhuber liked to recall an old Hindu fable. Six men, all blind but thirsty for knowledge, examine an elephant. One fumbles the pachyderm’s sturdy side, while others grasp at its tusk, trunk, knee, ear or tail. In the end, all are completely misled as to the nature of the beast.
Water scarcity in parts of Africa could become worse, according to a complementary set of climate projections.
The analogy worked. Although many researchers had modelled various aspects of the global-warming elephant, there had been no comprehensive assessment of what warming will really mean for human societies and vital natural resources. But that changed last year when Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, and other leading climate-impact researchers launched the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project. Read more
In all of my workshops, whether they are focused on health, success or mindset, I always start with the importance of hydration. Unfortunately , we as a society are under-educated about water quality in the US and big water corporations are doing a great job at marketing their bottled water to us while convincing us that their water is the best water.
There are gazzilions of bottled water brands, and most of them are not actually as safe for drinking as they’d like you to believe. Although you may think that bottled water is a safer option than tap, two new reports show that the store-bought stuff is actually less regulated than the water you get out of your faucet for free. Read more
The rising human population has led to an increase in water consumption, resulting in a strain on our global water supply.
Humans are consuming our available water supply at an alarming rate. It’s time we start treating every drop of water like the precious resource it is.
As the global population grows, we are using more and more water. Humans need water to survive. The Earth needs water to support its ecosystems. So far, we’ve had underground reservoirs thousands of years old at our disposal. But our current consumption is surpassing the supply. Read more
The “soft path for water” defines a new approach to managing water resources. The soft path begins with the recognition that with few exceptions people do not want to “use” water – they want complex combinations of goods and services.
People want to drink and bathe, grow food, produce and consume goods and services, and otherwise satisfy human needs and desires. While many of these things require water, achieving these ends can be done in different ways, often with radically different implications for water. The soft path recognizes that there are two primary ways of meeting water-related needs, or more poetically, two paths.
The “hard” path relies almost exclusively on centralized infrastructure and decisionmaking using technology and institutions developed in the 19th and 20th centuries: large dams and reservoirs, pipelines and treatment plants, public water departments and agencies and private companies. The objective of the hard path is to deliver water, mostly of potable quality, and sometimes to remove wastewater. Read more
Water and energy are intricately connected. Producing energy uses and pollutes large amounts of water. Likewise, providing and using water requires large amounts of energy.
Throughout the 20th century, the connections between water and energy were largely ignored. Water systems were designed and constructed with the assumption that energy would be cheap and abundant. Likewise, energy systems were developed with the assumption that water would be cheap and abundant. And while some have long argued that we would reach peak energy and more recently, peak water, assumptions about abundance were the status quo.
The era of abundance is coming to an end and is being replaced by the era of limits. Conflicts between energy production and water availability are on the rise, even in areas not traditionally associated with water-supply constraints. Additionally, rising energy costs and concerns about greenhouse gas emissions are forcing some water managers to seek ways optimize the energy efficiency of their water systems and reduce overall water use. Read more