Stanford Earth Matters covers insights, discoveries, and solutions from the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.
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Q&A: Colorado River deal and ongoing challenges
Water and natural resources expert Buzz Thompson discusses a recent tentative deal to reduce water use by entities drawing from the Colorado River, averting near-term potential disaster and predictions that the river could all but stop. (Source: Stanford Law School)
Just add prawns
Giulio De Leo and his collaborators have been testing an unconventional solution to a parasitic disease. (Source: Stanford Magazine)
When to water? Researchers develop new tool for optimizing irrigation
A new tool for designing and managing irrigation for farms advances the implementation of smart agriculture, an approach that leverages data and modern technologies to boost crop yields while conserving natural resources. (Source: Stanford News)
Q&A: Accelerating water solutions
Stanford water and sanitation expert Jenna Davis discusses surprising freshwater challenges and potential solutions in the U.S. and abroad. (Source: Stanford Program on Water, Health & Development)
Whiplash weather: What we can learn from California’s deadly storms
Stanford and local experts discuss ways to mitigate risk to communities and infrastructure amid dramatic swings between flood and drought.
Droughts increase costs for low-income households
According to a recent study, when providers act to curtail water use or invest in new infrastructure because of a drought, bills can rise for low-income households and drop for high-income households. (Source: Stanford News)
The cleanest drinking water is recycled
New research shows treated wastewater can be more dependable and less toxic than common tap water sources including rivers and groundwater. (Source: Stanford Engineering)
Beavers will become a bigger boon to river water quality as U.S. West warms
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.
Plant processes may be key to predicting drought development
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.
The curious connection between plastic trash and infectious disease
Discarded, undegradable plastic trash is a global breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes. (Source: Stanford Engineering)
Alexandria Boehm: Wastewater helps reveal COVID’s real reach
Civil and environmental engineer Alexandria Boehm joins Stanford Engineering’s The Future of Everything podcast to discuss how a new form of epidemiology is using the tools of engineering to test wastewater to track COVID-19’s true spread. (Source: Stanford Engineering)
Riverfront forest restoration can deliver outsized benefits
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. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
As Colorado River wanes, water supplies and ecosystems hang in the balance
A study analyzes water transactions that leave water in the river, and shows how they could be scaled up to avert cuts for major water users while supporting imperiled ecosystems. (Source: Water in the West)
Q&A: Harnessing the power of nature to address water and climate challenges
A Stanford water policy expert discusses how investments in nature could simultaneously help states bolster water supplies and achieve their climate goals. (Source: Stanford News)
An AI solution to climate models’ gravity wave problem
Stanford scientists are among a growing number of researchers harnessing artificial intelligence techniques to bring more realistic representations of ubiquitous atmospheric ripples into global climate models
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.
Saving the Mekong River Delta from drowning
Southeast Asia’s most productive agricultural region and home to 17 million people could be mostly underwater within a lifetime. Researchers recommend policy solutions including strict regulation of sediment mining, limits on groundwater pumping, and coordination among countries, development agencies and other private and civil society stakeholders. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
Analysis presents a first-of-its-kind framework to design the most efficient mix of urban buildings along with integrated systems to supply power and water services. The approach could significantly reduce costs and pollution compared to traditional systems. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
Snowpack changes how a California volcano 'breathes'
A Stanford University study suggests the weight of snow and ice atop the Sierra Nevada affects a California volcano’s carbon dioxide emissions, one of the main signs of volcanic unrest.