Sandra Postel

A River’s Right to Flow

Do rivers have a right to water? As dams and diversions deplete flows, it’s a question environmental advocates and legal scholars are asking more and more. Over the last decade, rivers in Ecuador and New Zealand have won legal ...

Why the US Clean Water Rule Needs to Stay in Place

We have many lessons to learn from the tragedies wrought by Hurricane Harvey, but among the most important is that a broken water cycle increases risks to our communities and economies. Floodplains, tributaries, wetlands, lakes, ponds, rivers and groundwater form ...

Along a Desert River, A New Breed of Rancher

“I don’t know what I pump and I don’t care – and that’s crazy,” says Paul Schwennesen, a fit, energetic rancher in his late thirties who might outcompete Clint Eastwood for most handsome cowboy. On his modest-size ranch, ...

Changing the Course of our Freshwater Future

By Sandra Postel, Val Fishman and Todd Reeve We’ll cut right to the chase. We’re building a water stewardship movement, and we hope you’ll join us. Some 170,000 people and 22 companies already have. We have restored billions of ...

Water Risks are Growing; Here’s a Tool to Help Us Prepare

Earlier this month, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, released its annual risk assessment, which looks across the spectrum of threats to society and ranks them. This year, it declared water crises to be the top global risk to ...

Dam on Ethiopia’s Omo River Causing Hunger and Conflict

In the lower Omo River Valley of southern Ethiopia, a spreading humanitarian emergency that threatens to spawn conflicts in the region is largely being met with silence from both the Ethiopian government and the international community. The filling of the ...

Dam Ideology

When it comes to water, concrete trumps common sense. That was the take-home message Wednesday evening from Daniel P. Beard, former commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, who spoke at Old Town Farm in Albuquerque on his swing ...

Groundbreaking State Law Tested in Colorado Headwaters Stream

Sandra Postel and Todd Reeve The infamous use-it-or lose-it rule is arguably the biggest barrier to water conservation and river-flow restoration in the western United States. It basically says that if anyone holding water rights does not put them to ...