WSU Cougar Head Logo Washington State University
WSU Insider
News and Information for Faculty, Staff, and the WSU Community

Human activities harm water quality, raise treatment costs

By Eric Sorensen, WSU science writer

Julie-PadowskiPULLMAN, Wash. – Julie Padowski, clinical assistant professor at Washington State University, has found that the loss of land cover around cities has increased pollution and raised the cost of water treatment.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, she and coauthors say 90 percent of large cities around the world have lost natural land cover to agriculture and development since 1900.

The degradation of watersheds has affected water-treatment costs for nearly one-third of the more than 300 cities in the study. The affected cities saw operation and maintenance costs rise by more than half.

Padowski does research in the Water Research Center and Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach at WSU.

Leading the study was Robert McDonald, a scientist for the Nature Conservancy. His colleagues are Padowski and Katherine Weber of Yale University.

An abstract of the paper is available here. The Washington Post writes about the research here.


Next Story

Recent News

WSU Core-to-Career program announces members of third cohort

Twenty-one Washington State University faculty have been named as the newest members of the Core-to-Career professional development program that impacts undergradutes’ career readiness.

Sharing American political and judicial expertise overseas

Recipient of a Fulbright Senior Specialist award for a three-week visit to Slovakia, WSU’s Cornell Clayton held a series of lectures for graduate and undergraduate students focusing on contemporary American politics.

College of Education appoints Eric Johnson as associate dean

Eric Johnson, an English language learners professor, will begin his two-year term on Aug. 16 and will focus heavily on faculty and staff professional development aimed at fostering an inclusive and equitable educational environment within the college.

WSU lab joins network identifying new pathogens

As part of the $1.7 billion Pathogen Genomics Center of Excellence, the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory will play a key role preventing the spread of disease-causing pathogens, including new COVID-19 variants.

Find More News

Subscribe for more updates