» Water-supply

Following the Flow: An Inside Look at Wastewater Treatment

A wastewater treatment guide by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Read More

Regional Water Conversations

NSF tasked ATEEC (the Advanced Environmental and Energy Center) with facilitating a series of six regional Water Conversations. The primary purpose of the conversations was to obtain a snapshot view of existing and upcoming water management jobs and to determine which jobs are currently needed in different regions of the country. This report is the result of these Water Conversations and is intended to provide a preliminary labor market analysis and needs assessment. This information allows educational organizations to most effectively target regional water industry requirements and to provide both short- and long-term education and training for the water management professionals of the 21st century workforce. Read More

America's Water Risk: Water Stress and Climate Variability (Columbia Water Center White Paper)

The emerging awareness of the dependence of business on water has resulted in increasing awareness of the concept of “Water Risk” and the diverse ways in which water can pose threats to businesses in certain regions and sectors. Businesses seek to secure sustainable income. To do so, they need to maintain a competitive advantage and brand differentiation. They need secure and stable supply chains. Their exposure risks related to increasing scarcity of water can come in a variety of forms at various points in the supply chain. Given increasing water scarcity and the associated deterioration of the quantity and quality of water sources in many parts of the world, many “tools” have been developed to map water scarcity risk or water risk. Typically, these tools are based on estimates of the average water supply and demand in each unit of analysis. Often, they are associated with river basins, while business is associated with cities or counties. They provide a useful first look at the potential imbalance of supply and demand to businesses. However, the analyses on which such tools are based understate the potential water risk due to climate variations. In most places, even if the resource is not overappropriated on average, persistent shortage induced by climate conditions can lead to stress. A clear understanding of shortages induced by droughts, in terms of the magnitude, duration and recurrence frequency will better inform the water businesses and water related sectors. To properly diagnose water risk, one needs to examine both existing demand and variations in renewable water supply at an appropriate spatial resolution and unit. A metric that can inform the potential severity of a shortage is the accumulated deficit between demand and supply at a location. Here, we provide ways to estimate this risk and map it for the USA at a county level. The measures of water risk are estimated using over sixty years of precipitation and the current water use pattern for each county. Unlike past work that considers estimates of groundwater recharge and river flow as measures of supply, we use precipitation as the renewable water supply endogenous to the area, and consider natural and human uses of this water. The reliance on imported river water or mined ground water is exposed in the process. This is important to establish in the face of spatial competition for existing water resources. A Columbia Water Center, Earth Institute, Columbia University, and Veolia Water publication. February 2013. Read More

Ecological Dimensions of Biofuels

In this report we summarize the environmental effects of biofuels, illustrate some uncertainties about these effects, and identify topics for an integrated research program aimed at clarifying tradeoffs and reducing uncertainties in planning for sustainable biofuels production. Our considerations include effects on GHG emissions, soil carbon, water supply and quantity, land use, and biodiversity. Read More

Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management

The nation’s energy choices embody many tradeoffs. Water use is one of those tradeoffs. The energy choices before Congress represent vastly different demands on domestic freshwater. The energy sector’s water consumption is projected to rise 50% from 2005 to 2030. This rising water demand derives from both an increase in the amount of energy demanded and shifts to more water-intense energy sources and technologies. This report discusses this issue as well as related issues that may arise for the 112th Congress. Read More

“Life By The Drop: Africa and the Global Water Challenge.”

A four-part series of articles on climate change and population growth effects on the quantity and quality of water in Kenya. Read More

Global Warming Impacts

To realize the urgency of global warming, it’s important to understand the ways it affects us. Sea levels are rising and glaciers are melting; record high temperatures and severe rainstorms and droughts are becoming increasingly common Read More

Global Warming Science

There is no longer any doubt in the expert scientific community that the Earth is warming—and it’s now clear that human activity has a significant part in it. UCS continues to support and communicate vital research on climate change, including the human “fingerprints” of its cause, the impending consequences, and the urgent need for realistic solutions. Read More

Global Warming 101

What is global warming? Think of a blanket, covering the Earth. When CO2 and other heat-trapping emissions are released into the air, they act like a blanket, holding heat in our atmosphere and warming the planet. Overloading our atmosphere with carbon has far-reaching effects for people all around the world—more extreme storms, more severe droughts, deadly heat waves, rising sea levels, and more acidic oceans, which can affect the very base of the food chain. Read More

Global Warming: Big Picture Solutions

Who can reduce global warming emissions? We can—together. Our individual efforts are important, but the biggest impact on climate change will come from large-scale changes—well-reasoned international policies; thoughtful, systematic efforts to reduce polluting fossil fuel energy sources and unsound land use practices; and steady progress toward a green, sustainable future. Read More


EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.


EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu