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


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.


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. 

Percolation pond in Arizona. Photo by Erica Gies.


Water in the Bank: One Solution For Drought-Stricken California

A potential answer to California’s severe water shortages is groundwater banking, which involves creating incentives for municipalities, farmers, and other water users to percolate water down into sub-surface aquifers for later use.


Expanding Paved Areas Has an Outsize Effect on Urban Flooding

Researchers have finally been able to pinpoint just how much impervious surfaces exacerbate flood levels


Coca-Cola Leaves It to Beavers to Fight the Drought

The soft-drink giant is deploying the dam-building animals to replenish groundwater supplies.


Hacking the Drought

With climate models predicting precipitation extremes in some of the world’s most ecologically and politically sensitive areas, scientists and engineers are coming up with creative solutions.


With Floods and Droughts Increasing, Communities Take a New Look at Storing Water Underground

Groundwater recharge is the latest wave in water security – though challenges remain.


The “One Water” Movement Is Helping the Environment and Saving Millions of Dollars

Solutions to floods, droughts, and pollution that look upstream, downstream and everywhere in between save dollars and make sense.


Cities Are Finally Treating Water as a Resource, Not a Nuisance

From Houston to Melbourne, the surprising way urban areas are dealing with water woes


As Floods Increase, Cities Like Detroit Are Looking to Green Stormwater Infrastructure:

With climate change bringing more intense storms, urban areas are looking for better ways to manage runoff.


Ecological Detectives Hunt for San Francisco’s Vanished Waterways

Recovering “ghost creeks” from past landscapes can help protect the city’s
future amid climate chaos.

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