Taxonomy term

water

Declining U.S. water use a challenge for models

Americans are using less water today than they have at any time since 1970, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which has tracked water use since 1950 and issues reports every five years. 
 
27 Sep 2015

A pair of moons with underground oceans

Jupiter and Saturn are both gas giants boasting multiple moons. Now, two separate studies have identified another similarity: Each appears to have a moon with hidden underground oceans.
 
02 Aug 2015

Geologic Column: Jack and Jill: The sequel

As the extreme drought in California persists into another year, EARTH’s regular commentator returns with some thoughts on the proposed solutions, and the wisdom of going “up the hill” to fetch your water.

27 Jun 2015

Exoplanets could have long-lived oceans

At last count, the Kepler spacecraft had identified more than 1,000 confirmed exoplanets in the Milky Way Galaxy. Some of these bodies orbit their parent stars in the so-called habitable zone, where liquid water, and thus, life, could survive. But scientists say favorable surface temperatures may not be enough to foster life. Exoplanets also need to generate and maintain liquid water at the surface, raising the question: Do exoplanets have stable oceans?

 
12 Jun 2015

Iraq's biggest dam on unsure footing

Much of Iraq’s national power grid, as well as its irrigation and municipal water supplies, depend on Mosul Dam, a large earthen structure on the Tigris River about 70 kilometers upstream from Mosul, Iraq’s third-largest city. However, the dam, constructed in the 1980s, was built upon a geologically weak foundation, raising worries about its safety.
04 Jun 2015

Comet water unlike Earth's

Scientists have long suspected that much of the water that fills our planet’s oceans may have come from asteroids or comets that collided with the early Earth. Now, recently reported data from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which landed its Philae probe on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November, appears to favor an asteroid origin story for Earth’s water.

10 May 2015

Wedge approach proposed to lower water stress

Roughly 30 percent of the global population — or about 2.2 billion people — lives in water-stressed parts of the world, where high freshwater withdrawals endanger ecosystems, agriculture and drinking-water supplies. If current population and water usage trends persist, this fraction could rise to about one-half by the century’s end. In a recent study, researchers — taking a page from the climate-change mitigation literature — have proposed a “wedge” approach to address global water stress, laying out how various tactics could ease the growing problem.

22 Apr 2015

Rome's hidden water trade led to glory, maybe ruin

Crumbling aqueducts crisscross the lands that once belonged to Rome, relics of a water system that sustained an empire. But now, research suggests that much of the water that flowed into Roman cities did not come gurgling down a conduit — it came in copious quantities of grain, imported to feed a growing population.

 
12 Apr 2015

A dry and ravaged land: Investigating water resources in Afghanistan

Decades of war, loss of hydrological knowledge, climate change and a growing population all threaten Afghanistan’s water supply, but the U.S. Geological Survey is working with the Afghanistan Geological Survey and other partners to establish safe and reliable supplies of water for now and well into the future. 

04 Jan 2015

Can renewable energy and desalination tackle two problems at once?

In an era of extended droughts combined with increasing water demand, water-scarce areas of the world are considering expensive and far-flung water sources. At the same time, electric grids are straining to meet surging demand for electricity. Could wind- and solar-powered desalination plants be the solution to both problems?

26 Oct 2014

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