Water

As someone whose been involved in conservation in many different corners of the world, its easy to see how people might feel removed from the important work that’s happening, particularly in the arctic and equatorial regions where the scenery feels unfamiliar. However, the most important piece of land that you can help protect is your...

By Daniel Moss Thirsting for solutions to an exploding water crisis, there's much talk about water reuse. At a recent conference of Mexican water distributors, two starkly different strategies were on display. In one scenario - causing some noses to wrinkle - consumers are asked to drink chemically-treated wastewater that has been re-injected into aquifers. In the other, they slake their thirst on water that's been used, but generally only by ecosystems filtering water over time. Conjuring up prehistory, International Water Association Board Member Daniel Nolasco, described this re-used water as “dinosaur pee”....

Sailing S/V Mir through remote Raja Ampat has been like traveling back in time to a wilder, less-peopled world.   I spend a lot of time imagining what this planet was like even just a few centuries ago, before people began altering Earth’s living systems on a global scale. Human beings have been leaving their...

Wild Bird Trust presents the Top 25 Wild Waterbirds. Waterbirds can be particularly rewarding to photograph as waterbodies like wetlands and estuaries attract so many different species. In the past wetlands and marshes were often seen as wastelands that should be drained or transformed, but now we are recognising the value of these areas to...

In observance of World Wetlands Day, National Geographic salutes the heroic work of the Okavango Wilderness Project, working to preserve the largest freshwater wetland in Southern Africa — and the main source of water for a million people.  Spanning southern Angola, Namibia, and northern Botswana, the Okavango Basin is one of Africa’s richest places for biodiversity,...

This year I am celebrating World Wetlands Day in Luanda, Angola where we have just launched the new Portuguese issue of the National Geographic magazine, featuring an article documenting our journey to the source of one of Africa’s most important wetland systems- the Okavango-Zambezi Basin. There is a new energy in the city, with a...

(Patagonia’s Untold Stories)   Its skin is splitting open down its back. Three pairs of lateral attachment points keep its streamlined body glued to the submerged rock. It will use the glacial raging torrent to its advantage. With the last air in its body, it inflates its thorax to free itself from its pupal skin. It...

Sunday March 23, 2014, at a little after 8 am, the gates at Morelos Dam on the Mexico-Arizona border were opened for the first time in history for the purpose of allowing the Colorado River to flow downstream into its delta to water the plants and animals that live there.  A crowd of more than...

If you don’t use it, you lose it—at least this appears to be the case for a blind cave fish found in Mexico and the southern U.S. known as Astyanax mexicanus. Descended from an eyed surface fish, over long periods of time the subterranean form of the same species has adapted to darkness, accumulating new...

The common refrain in media stories about water shortages is that they are caused by droughts.  Don’t believe them. Droughts don’t cause water shortages.  People do. The water shortages appearing with increasing frequency and intensity around the globe are, regretfully, poignant signs of our society’s woeful inability to govern itself within limits, or to plan...

Saving water is cool. No ice necessary.                   California 2013-2014 drought. It’s epic. The worst in the state’s recorded history. Everything you can think of is at a record low for this time of year: rainfall, snowpack, streamflow, reservoir storage…It’s so bad that Governor Jerry Brown has...

It’s ski season, and ski areas like Aspen (currently home to the Winter X Games) are good at getting PR touting their commitment to environmental sustainability – like this recent Men’s Journal story. But what many people don’t know is that Aspen Skiing Company and the National Ski Areas Association are currently supporting a bill...

Earlier this week we reported on the first confirmed video that shows what many people had long feared: that some fish can leap out of the water and snatch birds in midair. That fish is the tigerfish, a “megafish” that dwells in lakes in Africa, and which has large, razor-sharp teeth. Widely distributed across much...

About three years ago, I was staring at a monitor wall of 2 million crowdsourced “clues” to identify archaeological tombs in Mongolia when three people in black suits walked up and stopped in their tracks.  Two of them were from the Department of Defense, and the third was a gruff young doctor named Eliah Spencer...