With rivers supplying 60% of our drinking water (River Science at the U.S. Geological Survey, 1), it is disconcerting to remark that this precious resource has been taking considerable hits of late. Silting, poor water management policies, pollution, and excessive drawdowns have all contributed to some rivers being labeled “endangered.” This year’s list is led by the Colorado River, a river so abused that barely any water reaches its mouth. The report, issued by the advocacy group American Rivers, focuses on ten rivers in trouble; none, thankfully, in our part of the country. Additional information can be found at the National Academy of Sciences River Basin Systems with links to online books and reports; Rivers and Lakes from Nature Conservancy; and Hudson River Water Quality (Riverkeeper).
Archive for Environment
The 2012 edition of the Little Green Data Book from World Bank provides an overview of the environmental conditions for every country in the world. This year’s edition has as its focus the ocean and what impact environmental degradations have on it and the implications of such actions. This volume presents the information in several ways: individual country profiles, regional analyses, and income groupings. The data include, among others: forests and biodiversity (including deforestation and threatened species); energy and emissions (including the per capita amount of CO2 emissions); and water and sanitation. Older volumes back to 2001 are here. Other sources of similar information include Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index and the CIA’s World Factbook (under the Geography section). And do not forget this 2010 article: Evaluating the Relative Environmental Impact of Countries.