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18 May 2020

Should the pandemic change what we ‘do’ as sustainability scientists?

The world will likely never be the same again after the covid-19 pandemic – too much has changed for us personally, socially and culturally. The pandemic is a terrible tragedy that continues to devastate lives and economies while ironically also bearing the possibility of being a much needed global sustainability reset. So as applied scientists focused on sustainability, what is our role in this reset? 

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27 April 2020

Groundwater and climate change revisited: informing adaptation in a warming world

Recent research has identified the natural resilience of groundwater to climate change and our tendency to deplete this invaluable resource. It’s time we understood, valued, and governed groundwater as the vital adaptation to climate change that it is.

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20 April 2020

Re-thinking watersheds from the bottom up

Despite a few decades of progress on groundwater-surface water interaction and the advent of integrated groundwater-surface water models, it was clear that very different conceptual models of how groundwater fits into the hydrologic cycle were held by different communities within hydrology.

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13 November 2019

Global Groundwater Sustainability – A Call to Action… do you want to sign?

I am excited about a new initiative called “Global Groundwater Sustainability: A call to action” that was first drafted at the recent Chapman conference in Valencia, Spain.  Overall, we are a global group of scientists calling for action to ensure groundwater benefits society now and into the future, and hope that you would like to join us by signing.

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3 October 2019

Groundwater pumping poses worldwide threat to riverine ecosystems

With the climate strikes happening all over the world, I sometimes wish I had a crystal ball that would allow me to look into the future. Or even better, a crystal ball that could show me different scenarios of what will happen if we change, or not. Well, I do not have a crystal ball, but I do have a global scale hydrological model.

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24 July 2019

A do-it-yourself Jupyter notebook to constrain sediment permeability

Post by Elco Luijendijk, Junior lecturer in the Department of Structural Geology and Geodynamics at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and WaterUnderground founder Tom Gleeson (@water_undergrnd), Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Victoria. Most of the groundwater on our planet is located in sedimentary rocks. This is why it is important to know how easy or hard it is for water to flow through pores in sediments, …

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16 May 2019

Data sharing: an update on new and existing initiatives

Last year, Anne Van Loon wrote about data sharing initiatives in hydrology (“Data drought or data flood?” 28 May 2018). This post gives an update on existing and new initiatives.

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8 May 2019

Video: Linking water planetary boundaries and UN Sustainable Development Goals

Water Underground creator Tom Gleeson prepared this quick research video (with no more than a toothbrush, a file holder, and a doughnut, in one take!) for the Ripples project meeting at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, that was held in April. In this video, he talks about using doughnut economics for linking water planetary boundaries and UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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5 April 2019

Dowsing for interesting water science – what’s exciting at EGU 2019?

Every April, the European Geophysical Union (EGU) holds an annual meeting in Vienna. With thousands of presentations spread out over a full week, it can feel like you’re surrounded by a deluge of water-related options – particularly since the conference center is on an island! 

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1 April 2019

Have you ever wondered if groundwater is connected to climate?

‘Groundwater-surface water interactions’ has become standard hydrologic lexicon and a perennial favorite session title at various conferences… but how often do you hear the phrase ‘groundwater-climate interactions’?

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25 March 2019

Celestial groundwater – the subsurface plumbing for extraterrestrial life support

Have you ever taken a walk on the beach during a lowering (ebbing) tide and see mini-rivers grow and create beautiful drainage patterns before your eyes? These short-lived groundwater seepage features are tiny (and fast) analogs of how groundwater has shaped some parts of Mars! It appears that groundwater loosening sediments can lead to all sorts of scales of erosion on both Earth and Mars.

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17 March 2019

Of Karst! – short episodes about karst

We often associate groundwater with large water storage and very slow water movement, for instance compared to rivers. But is it possible that groundwater flow can be as quick as stream flow? Of karst, it is possible!

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18 February 2019

Water: underground source for billions could take more than a century to respond fully to climate change

While climate change makes dramatic changes to weather and ecosystems on the surface, the impact on the world’s groundwater is likely to be delayed, representing a challenge for future generations.

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8 October 2018

Groundwater and drought

Post by Andy Baker, Professor researching groundwater, caves, past climate, organic carbon and more at the University of New South Wales, in Australia. __________________________________________________ Drought is in the news here in New South Wales, Australia. But how are rainfall, drought and groundwater related? First, we need to understand what drought is. Is it a water shortage? Or a lack of rainfall? Or something else? In the USA, the National Climatic Data Center …

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3 August 2018

Groundwater and Education – Part two

Education and capacity development can become more integrated in our work, in academia, if we emphasize and increase our attention given to finding the most effective way to train and motivate the new generations of hydrogeologists

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18 July 2018

How deep does groundwater go? Mining (dark) data from the depths

We’ve all been asked (or do the asking), “where does your water come from?” This is a fundamental question for establishing a series of additional questions that can ultimately help define strategies for valuing and protecting a particular water resource.

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22 June 2018

How can we make hydrogeology free from plagiarism? Reflections five years after a documented case of plagiarism in the hydrologic sciences

Tom Gleeson and Matt Currell Plagiarism is a clear contradiction of scientific values and practice. Although no universal definition of plagiarism exists, a useful working definition is the wrongful appropriation, stealing and publication of another author’s language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions and the representation of them as one’s own original work (wikipedia). Plagiarism in our digital world can be too easy – although journals have stepped up on electronically detecting …

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28 May 2018

Data drought or data flood?

Post by Anne Van Loon, Lecturer in Physical Geography (Water sciences) at the University of Birmingham, in the United Kingdom. __________________________________________________ The basis for (almost) all scientific work, at least in the earth and environmental sciences, is DATA. We all need data to search for the answers to our questions. There are a number of options to get hold of data; we can measure stuff ourselves in the field or in the lab, generate …

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19 May 2018

Prairie Woody Encroachment, Fire Ecology, and Implications for Regional Hydrology

Images of modern prairie burns near Council Bluffs, Kansas have been captured by venerable National Geographic photojournalist Jim Richardson. These fires aimed at maintaining prairie grassland ecology carry on a Native American practice that goes back centuries. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln hosts an online archive of The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in which George Clark, who probably never won a spelling bee, recorded this remarkable river scene …

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25 April 2018

Socio-hydrology meets Broadway: Can we survive drought if we stop using the toilet?

With Cape Town on the verge of being the first major city to run out of water, this is a question on the minds of many water managers and scientists within the emerging fields of socio-hydrology and socio-hydrogeology.

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