There is a convergence of trends taking place that provide an opportunity to address the world's most urgent water challenges. The most significant of those is the increasingly rapid adoption of digital technologies.
Water that is promised in a contract but can’t be delivered is called “paper water” – shorthand for water that does not exist except in legal documents.
During its mid-20th century frenzy of dam and canal construction, California allocated much more water than it actually had. These paper water commitments far exceed the amount of water than is available in our reservoirs and rivers. According to a study from the University of California, Davis, “appropriative water rights filed for consumptive uses are approximately five times greater than estimated surface water withdrawals.”
What this restrained academic language reveals is a management crisis: no matter how much it rains and snows in California, we will always have a chronic water shortage because of overallocation.
New research looks to improve prediction of brief but intense rainstorms that can cause devastating flash floods and landslides.
The storms, called narrow cold-frontal rainbands, are long strips of rain that can stretch for tens to hundreds of kilometers in length but are only a few kilometers wide. They form along many of the world's coasts, including both coasts of the U.S.
Few places in the world have greater need for financing to fund water projects and protect the oceans than the Indo-Pacific region, with its vast coastlines and countless islands, many at risk from rising sea levels due to climate change. Enter so-called blue bonds -- similar to wildly popular green bonds but focused on such challenges as sustainable fishing and reducing plastic waste.
Californians received a double dose of not so happy water news last month; cutbacks were made to water allocations and a key water price index surged higher. Drought fears are heightening due to low reservoir levels and below normal snowpack.
Water set to become more valuable than oil as rising demand from people, industries and agriculture puts pressure on supplies.
Value of Water: EPA Studies Importance of Water to U.S. Economy
Water is vital to a productive and growing economy in the U.S., directly and indirectly affecting the production of goods and services. For most consumers, water costs less than a penny per gallon at the tap, and buried infrastructure is out of sight and mind as long as the water is flowing.
California’s large metropolitan regions, especially the San Francisco-Oakland-Silicon Valley Bay Area, generate more economic value per unit of freshwater consumed than other regions in the United States.
Ever growing demand for agricultural and municipal water, caused by population growth and the need to feed the world, as well as increasing stress over waterbodies crave for efficient and sustainable water management.
In the mountains east of the Cape Town, South Africa, just beyond the curving road up Sir Lowry’s Pass, workers manoeuvre heavy machinery to stab at the ground near Steenbras Dam, drilling deeply with steel pipes to bring forth water.
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