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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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