Global water stress could be alleviated by the year 2050 if countries work to implement six key strategies ranging from building more reservoirs to controlling population growth, according to research from Canada and the Netherlands. Water stress is defined as occurring when more than 40 percent of the water from a region's rivers is unavailable because it is already being used — a situation that currently affects roughly one-third of the global population. Writing in Nature Geoscience, the scientists propose six steps they believe can help reduce water stress: planting crops that use water and nutrients more efficiently; using more efficient irrigation methods; improving the efficiency of water use in homes, industry, and municipalities; limiting the rate of population growth so global population stays below 8.5 billion by 2050; increasing reservoir water storage capacity; and intensifying water desalination operations by 50-fold.
The Environmental Protection Agency is considering rules that would force oil and gas producers to cut methane emissions, its chief said, stepping up efforts to curb the most potent greenhouse gas linked to climate change.
In the midst of a suburban sprawl halfway between the Eiffel Tower and Paris’s busy Orly airport, a drilling crew works night and day burrowing deep into the Earth’s crust in search of underground heat.
With a population of about 60,000 and a formerly industrial economy, Kokomo, Indiana, is not the type of city that recent economic trends have favored.
But Aaron Renn at the Urbanophile says the city has embraced some tenets of urbanism as an economic and quality-of-life strategy, thanks in large part to the leadership of Mayor Greg Goodnight. When Renn visited recently, he was impressed with the new downtown bike trail and pedestrian infrastructure. And thanks to careful budgeting and prioritization, the city is making these improvements without taking on any debt.
How can we ensure that all urban inhabitants have the necessary rights and conditions for a dignified and secure existence in the city? As the world rapidly urbanizes, the livelihoods, health, and safety of residents living in informal settlements remain at risk. These residents lack formal property rights and access to vital infrastructure and services. Recognizing informal property rights and improving the quality of housing in informal settlements are important steps toward meeting the basic needs of these most vulnerable urban populations.
Limited availability of freshwater could become a stumbling block for rapid development of shale resources through hydraulic fracturing. Using information from the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, WRI provides the first global and country-specific resource to help stakeholders evaluate freshwater availability across shale plays worldwide.
Greenhouse gases caused by meat production will go up 80% if meat and dairy consumption continues to rise, according to a new report. Would you ration your consumption to help meet global emissions targets?
A new report written by Nathaniel Bullard at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) highlights the difficulties large institutional investors would have divesting from fossil fuels. What it does not specifically discuss is that these difficulties could lead to large financial losses for investors who s
A newly launched online database illustrates the impacts of nearly 6,000 dams on the world's 50 major river basins, ranking their ecological health according to indicators of river fragmentation, water quality, and biodiversity. The "State of the World's Rivers" project was developed by the advocacy organization International Rivers and created using Google Earth. Users can compare the health of individual river basins, see the locations of existing and planned dams, and explore 10 of the most significant river basins in more depth. For example, as this map of China's Yangtze basin shows, at least 374 dams already exist in the basin, and at least another 167 are under construction or planned to be built. The ecological health of the region is showing signs of collapse, the database entry says: A 2014 study found that fish species in the Yangtze drastically decreased from 143 to 17 over the course of one year, due to overfishing and dam construction. The 6,000 dams represented in the database are a small percentage of the more than 50,000 large dams that impact the world's rivers, the organization notes.