Tag: Water conservation

Brian Richter’s ‘Chasing Water’: Smarter Solutions for the Coming Water Scarcity

Many of the world’s cities are ill-prepared to face impending water shortages over the next decades. Conservancy scientist Brian Richter’s new book says the answer lies in people power.

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Urban Water Footprint: Extensive and Expensive

A new global database of urban water sources developed by the Conservancy’s Rob McDonald highlights just how far water travels and how much it can cost to get it there.

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Pupfish: Conserving a Mojave Desert Survivor

Sure, desert pupfish are tough. Hot water temperatures? They thrive in it. Creeks saltier than the ocean? No problem. But now pupfish face a bigger challenge — people and their need for lots of water.

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Meet the NatureNet Fellows: Dan Auerbach

NatureNet Fellow Dan Auerbach is working to strengthen the ‘business case’ for water funds. His work could change the way that people perceive and value water.

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Giulio Boccaletti: What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement?

In hydrology, a concept known as stationarity allows us to define events using time statistics, like the “one in a hundred years flood.” Dr. Giulio Boccaletti argues that it’s time to retire this concept.

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Re-Branding Nature: From Dismal Swamp to Constructed Wetland

Swamps were once considered disease-ridden, alligator-infested places. Now they’re hailed for the ecosystem services they provide–but for that image to stick, constructed wetlands have to be based on the best-available science.

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Meet the NatureNet Fellows: Rob McDonald

Conservationists have typically viewed cities as the enemy of the environment — to embrace urban growth is akin to heresy. But that viewpoint is changing by necessity.

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Natural Intersection: Understanding and Conserving Alaska’s Estuaries

Meet the estuary: where three powerful realms–river, ocean and land–meet. A new paper by Conservancy scientists classifies this important habitat, and helps conservationists better protect estuaries vital for both people and wildlife.

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Are We Losing Our Wetlands Conservation Legacy?

Wetlands conservation has been one of the greatest successes of the conservation movement. But are we at risk of draining that legacy away?

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Meet the NatureNet Fellows: Joanna Nelson

Water funds work. But could they work even better? That’s the focus of NatureNet Fellow Joanna Nelson, an ecologist with Stanford’s Natural Capital Project.

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People and Nature: Announcing Our New Social Scientists

To solve today’s conservation problems, we need multi-disciplinary scientists who can look at how nature impacts people. Enter The Nature Conservancy’s 3 new social scientists, who will be working on the front lines of conservation for the benefit of people.

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Farming, Adapting to Climate Change & the Limits of Imagination

A new study from Conservancy scientists says irrigation needs are going to increase significantly under future climate change projections. Can farmers be equally radical in how they respond to these drier conditions?

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Quick Study: How Will Climate Change Affect Irrigation of Farm Lands in U.S.?

Quick Study is just what it says — a rapid-fire look at a new conservation science study that might turn some heads.

The Study: McDonald, R. and E. Girvetz. 2013. Two challenges for U.S. irrigation due to climate change: increasing irrigated area in wet states and increasing irrigation rates in dry statesPLoS ONE 8(6): e65589. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065589.

The Questions: Climate change models forecast higher average temperatures that will cause crop-growing seasons in the United States to become hotter and drier. How will this impact the irrigation needs of agriculture in the United States? And how will farmers respond to drier conditions?

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New Study: How Cities Can Finally Get Smart About Water

If the definition of insanity is making the same mistakes over and over, then many cities have taken a certifiable approach to securing their water supplies — and they need some radical therapy before taking the big economic, ecological and human hits that come with a permanent state of thirst.

That’s the conclusion from a new study in the journal Water Policy, whose authors compared the water supply histories of 4 cities — San Diego, Phoenix, San Antonio and Adelaide, Australia. Among the lessons learned? Urban water conservation, recycling and desalination aren’t silver bullets. In fact, the best solution may lie upstream with farmers — saving just 5-10% of agricultural irrigation in upstream watersheds could satisfy a city’s entire water needs.

Brian Richter, a senior freshwater scientist at The Nature Conservancy and the study’s lead author, told me more about what cities need to do to say on the right side of dry.

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A Q&A with the New Director of our Global Freshwater Program

More than 1 billion people face daily water shortages, and within the next 20 years, more than half the world’s population could face water shortages. Our CEO sits down with the new Global Freshwater Program Director to find out where to go from here.

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Forest Dilemmas

Too many deer. Logging one tree to save another. Beavers versus old growth. Welcome to forest conservation in the Anthropocene. Beginning Monday, July 21, join us for a provocative 5-part series exploring the full complexity facing forest conservation in the eastern United States.

What is Cool Green Science?

noun 1. Blog where Nature Conservancy scientists, science writers and external experts discuss and debate how conservation can meet the challenges of a 9 billion + planet.

2. Blog with astonishing photos, videos and dispatches of Nature Conservancy science in the field.

3. Home of Weird Nature, The Cooler, Quick Study, Traveling Naturalist and other amazing features.

Cool Green Science is managed by Matt Miller, the Conservancy's deputy director for science communications, and edited by Bob Lalasz, its director of science communications. Email us your feedback.

Innovative Science

Investing in Seagrass
Marine scientists and fishers alike know that grass beds are valuable as nursery habitat. A new Conservancy-funded study puts a number to it.

Drones Aid Bird Conservation
How can California conservationists accurately count thousands of cranes? Enter a new tool in bird monitoring: the drone.

Creating a Climate-Smart Agriculture
Can farmers globally both adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change? A new paper answers with a definitive yes. But it won't be easy.

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