Water

News articles classified as Water

Dams and food security

Analysis finds that dammed reservoirs could store more than 50% of the water needed to irrigate crops without depleting water stocks or encroaching on nature. The researchers caution against building new dams, however, and urge consideration of alternative storage solutions.

Stanford Engineering —

The cleanest drinking water is recycled

New research shows treated wastewater can be safer and more dependable than common tap water sources, including rivers and groundwater.

Beaver dams buffer rivers against climate extremes

American beaver populations are booming in the western United States as conditions grow hotter and drier. New research shows their prolific dam building benefits river water quality so much, it outweighs the damaging influence of climate-driven droughts.

Predicting drought development using plant processes

Based on new analyses of satellite data, scientists have found that hydrologic conditions that increase flash drought risk occur more often than current models predict. The research also shows that incorporating how plants change soil structures can improve Earth system models.

Are we missing a crucial component of sea-level rise?

Across Antarctica, some parts of the base of the ice sheet are frozen, while others are thawed. Scientists show that if some currently frozen areas were also to thaw, it could increase ice loss from glaciers that are not currently major sea-level contributors.

Healthy rivers, healthy people

Analysis reveals how restoring relatively narrow forest buffers could substantially improve regional water quality and carbon storage in Costa Rica and elsewhere. Such changes could have outsized benefits for vulnerable populations that rely on rivers for their water supply.

Geological activity can rapidly change deep microbial communities

New research reveals that, rather than being influenced only by environmental conditions, deep subsurface microbial communities can transform because of geological movements. The findings advance our understanding of subsurface microorganisms, which comprise up to half of all living material on the planet.

When will California’s San Joaquin Valley stop sinking?

A Stanford University study simulates 65 years of land subsidence, or sinking, caused by groundwater depletion in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The results suggest significant sinking may continue for centuries after water levels stop declining but could slow within a few years if aquifers recover.