Environment Forum

Floods? Droughts? Wildfires? Hurricanes? Yes, there is a climate change connection

September 12, 2011

For years, climate scientists were circumspect when asked if a specific bit of violent weather — for example, Hurricane Irene, the late-summer storm that slammed the heavily populated U.S. East Coast — could be blamed in some way on climate change.

As if 2007 never happened?

July 15, 2011

If four years is a lifetime in politics, it’s an eternity in climate change politics. Events in Washington this week might make climate policy watchers wonder if 2007 really happened.

Even everyday weather could pack a $485 billion punch

June 22, 2011

No question about it: this has been a wild weather year so far in the United States, with record rains, droughts, wildfires and tornadoes. But a new study indicates that even routine weather events like rainstorms and cooler-than-normal days could pack a huge annual economic wallop.

from Russell Boyce:

Don’t drink the water, even if there is any to drink (Update)

March 22, 2010

One more picture that caught my eye during the 24 hours news cycle for the World Water Day is the image of hundreds of hoses providing drinking water to  residents of a housing block in Jakarta.  The grubby plastic pipes supplying a fragile lifeline to families seem to represent the desperation that people face when the water supply is cut off.

Rainy Taiwan faces awkward water shortage

December 15, 2009

jennings Chronically rainy Taiwan faces a rare water shortage as leaders ask that people on the dense, consumption-happy island of 23 million finally start changing habits as dry weather is forecast into early 2010. 

Another reason for angry teenagers – in the shower

June 25, 2009

Other than pounding on the bathroom door, there is little one can do to get family members (read teenagers) to take shorter showers. But with mandatory water conservation possibly coming down the pipeline in California’s third year of drought,  one Denver-based company said it has the invention that will help households get through these dry times: the Shower Manager.

Water! (gasp) California needs water!

April 3, 2009

The results are in and no surprise — California’s lean snowpack means a third year of drought for the state whose farms supply about half the nation’s fruit and vegetables.

Overcoming the ‘ick’ factor of wastewater recycling

March 12, 2009

After an hourlong tour of the world’s largest wastewater recycling plant, where 70 milion gallons of pre-treated sewer discharge is distilled daily to help replenish the underground drinking supply of Orange County, California, I was led to a sink with a faucet. There I was presented with a plastic cup and invited to take a sip.

Cities in U.S. Southwest face thirsty times

March 11, 2009

The fast-growing U.S. Southwest has a problem: too many people, not enough water.

Is the U.S. West going the way of parched Australia?

March 10, 2009

The drought-induced infernos which ravaged parts of Australia earlier this year may be a harbinger of the water challenges coming to the American West.