More than Carbon Sticks

The concept that planting trees will help mitigate climate change by storing CO2 is too simplistic, ignoring the large effect that plants have on the water cycle. Careful restoration of native plant ecosystems can rebalance that cycle, further mitigating climate change while also reducing flood and drought.


Smarter Ways with Water

To address an onslaught of crises, people must tune into natural ways to repair water cycles that human development has severely disrupted


To Revive a River, Restore Its Hidden Gut

Radical reconstruction in Seattle is bringing nearly dead urban streams
back to life


Solution for California’s Drought Problems Lies Below Us

Right under the Central Valley, there are vast ancient river beds cut by glaciers thousands of years ago. Erica Gies wrote about these ancient paleo valleys for Bay Nature magazine. 


What Water Wants

As floods and droughts intensify across the world, our dams, levees, sea walls, and reservoirs are actually making things worse. How can we build a healthier relationship with water? Earth Island Journal editor and Terra Verde host, Maureen Nandini Mitra, talks with Erica to find out.

Yanweizhou Park, Sponge Cities project.


Cities Are Turning Flood Water Into Freshwater

As a guest on NPR’s “Science Friday,” Erica talks about sponge cities in China and the ways in which several cities around the world are adapting to be more resilient, as climate change begins to have a major effect on water systems.

Amuna in the highlands of Peru.


Slow Water in Peru

As drought grips Peru, its people are turning to nature, and ancient pre-Incan techniques to conserve water for the dry season that’s grown increasingly intense due to climate change. Erica discusses this world-leading program with Top of Mind host Julie Rose.


After Ida – Paths to Flash Flood Safety

What can be done to better warn and prepare communities everywhere for flash flooding, an intensifying threat in a human-heated climate? Erica joins a conversation on Andy Revkin’s Sustain What Live following the September 2021 flooding in New York City.

A flooded farm in California's Central Valley in February 2017. Photo by Erica Gies.


The Radical Groundwater Storage Test

New tactics for capturing floods and surviving droughts could help communities across California and the world.

Employees of Turenscape in Beijing by the Yongxing River Park project. Photo by Erica Gies.


Sponge City Revolution

Restoring natural water flows in cities can lessen the impacts of floods and droughts.

The Meaning Of Lichen


The Meaning of Lichen

How a naturalist’s observations in the wilds of British Columbia inspired a scientist to discover hidden symbioses—overturning 150 years of accepted scientific wisdom.


As the Water Crisis Deepens, California Finally Passes Groundwater Regulation

California, the only western U.S. state without groundwater regulation, appears poised to change that. But farmers argue regulation would infringe on their property rights.


10 Riskiest Places to Buy Your Seaside Dream Home

As sea levels rise, real estate investments in these seaside metropolises could amount to throwing money into the sea


The Business Cost of Climate Change: What the Science Says

Massive loss from extreme weather in recent years abound, and new research indicates climate risks aren’t leaving any time soon.


12 Ways Communities Will Have to Adapt to Handle Climate Change

Whatever your water crisis, whether drought or flood, these DIY solutions will help you adjust to climate change’s new reality.

Patience, Peace And Persian Leopards


Patience, Peace and Persian Leopards

Despite myriad threats, two Kurdish scientists in Iraq are fighting to create a peace park in the heart of the Middle East.


Value from Sewage? A New Technology Cleans Up Waste Water

Clean water startup Ostara has built a new sewage treatment technology that reduces water pollution and saves money

A traditional Marsh Arab home, built in the same style used by the ancient Sumerians. It floats atop the Mesopotamian Marshes. Photo by Erica Gies.


Restoring Iraq’s Garden of Eden


Water Tech Startup Aims to Green Manure at Factory Farms

Manure from livestock farms can be environmentally damaging. A new treatment system could clean up its impact, but will that just hide deeper problems in an unsustainable industry?


Fortresses of Mud

Rising seas threaten the San Francisco Bay Area, home to one of the largest estuaries in North America. But marsh-restoration efforts could hold back the high water. 

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