A Colorado wildfire that caused $25 million in damage also played havoc with Denver's drinking water supply, prompting the Mile-High City and others to invest in watershed protection to safeguard forests where the water they need originates. Protecting forested watersheds is critical for utilities that serve over 10,000 U.S. cities. Here are 10 factors that can guide watershed investment.
Based on a 3-year comparative case study analysis of 13 watershed investment programs, this report provides lessons to guide water utilities and communities as they work together in protecting drinking water supply at the source.
Rapidly growing cities are finding it increasingly difficult to provide their residents with core services, like housing, water, energy and transportation — a challenge that is exacerbated as the share of poor people living in urban areas grows. New research from the World Resources Institute finds that in most cities in the Global South, more than 70 percent of residents lack reliable access to basic services like livable, well-located housing; clean water; sustainable energy; and accessible and affordable transportation. The World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City examines whether prioritizing access to core urban services will create cities that are prosperous and sustainable for all people.
As communities around the world face a growing water crisis, the need for lower-cost means to secure ample and clean water is becoming increasingly important.
A changing climate means less rain and lower water supplies in regions where many people live and much of the planet's food is produced, as clouds retreat toward the North and South poles. A new study shows this cloud shift is already taking place, with huge implications for agriculture, industry and municipal water provisioning.
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Cities and women can be key players in managing future water demand, including reducing risks from the fastest-growing water users--energy and industrial activities.
More than 80 percent of the Caribbean's wastewater enters the ocean untreated, spurring the growth of algae on coral reefs and increasing the risk of infections for swimmers, among other issues. While many have been aware of this problem in Tobago for more than 20 years, there's been little government action.
Research on future water risk finds that rapidly growing demand for water will drive the greatest increase in water stress, even more so than supply changes caused by droughts and other extreme events.
The Flint water crisis an example of what can happen in the absence of transparent, inclusive and accountable water quality regulation and public service delivery. And unfortunately, it's just one community out of many throughout the world experiencing this problem.
New research from World Resources Institute finds the average American could cut their diet-related environmental impacts nearly in half just by eating less meat and dairy. Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future presents solutions to the challenge of feeding a growing population by reducing animal protein consumption, especially beef, and helping shift billions of people to more sustainable diets.
When people think about food and sustainability, they typically focus on how the food is produced—is it locally sourced, pasture-fed or organic? New WRI research shows that the question of what is eaten is just as important.
More than 100 companies have now committed to use the best science available as the basis for setting greenhouse gas emissions-reduction targets. Targets informed by science might well be effective in reducing risks posed by water as well—but there are hurdles to overcome first.
Four Chinese cities are pursuing systems that turn "sludge," the organic matter left over from treated sewage, into energy. The systems can reduce emissions, energy consumption and water pollution all while saving money.
While droughts, floods and increasingly rapid groundwater depletion are cause for concern, this year presents unprecedented opportunities to pursue better water management. Director of WRI's Global Water program Betsy Otto explains.
Cargill and World Resources Institute today announced a new 2-year partnership to work across value chains to better manage deforestation and water risk. This partnership brings WRI’s cutting-edge tools to the agriculture sector on a global scale.
Electricity for water treatment can be as much as one-third of a city's energy bill, and these "energy-water nexus" issues are becoming more and more concerning for businesses. A new GE and WRI report explores three innovative solutions for energy and water management.
Water scarcity challenges industries around the world. Global population growth and economic development suggest a future of increased demand, competition, and cost for limited freshwater supplies. Scarcer water, in turn, creates new challenges for energy supply because coal, oil, gas, and electricity production can require massive amounts of freshwater. Yet many countries will need more energy for energy-intensive water treatment options, like seawater desalination, to meet their growing demand for water. This report illustrates these emerging risks and offers ideas for finding solutions at the water-energy nexus.
This bubble chart shows the water and energy intensity of various industries. The bubble size is proportional to revenue (2013 figures). Source: Bloomberg Terminal (accessed summer 2015).
Coal production and power generation has driven Ningxia’s economy over the past decade. However, as an extremely thirsty industry, coal has put more stress on the area’s water supply and heightened competition with other users, including farms and households. A WRI working paper recommends developing a coordinated system to ensure sustainable development of water and economy in Ningxia.