“The world’s capacity to respond to water security risks is in doubt.”

-World Economic Forum

Fresh water scarcity is disrupting populations, economies, the environment – every aspect of life as we know it.

The effects are profound in health, food and energy and
to the very planet itself.

We are witnessing a new crisis threshold, as major cities face total water shutdowns.

There are better ways to manage the water needs of people and planet and for over a decade, Circle of Blue has informed their discovery. Its trusted reporting has enhanced climate agreements, urban policy and citizen activity, and it has inspired collaboration from Davos to Beijing, from Washington to the Vatican.

Circle of Blue unites classic journalism, data literacy and transformative connectivity. Its visionary work across the Great Lakes, U.S., China, Australia, Mexico, India and the Middle East earned the Rockefeller Centennial Innovation Award, one of the nation’s top honors.

Circle of Blue meets the demand for information and collaboration in the challenge of the century: water.

Coverage of breaking news, developing trends, and analysis on the competition for water between food, energy, and climate.

Daily Newsdesk

Breaking news, developing trends, and analysis

In-depth Features and Ongoing Series

Long-form reporting leveraging institutional knowledge and connections

  • Water Scarcity in India — In this special report, building on years of on-the-ground coverage, Circle of Blue reveals how a nation of 1.3 billion people, by failing to protect its water, is courting disease and economic hardship
  • From Michigan to the Nation – A Groundwater Emergency — Furious and fearful, residents are asking a simple but urgent question: what’s in my water?
  • Water Pricing — Annual, highly cited analysis of forces influencing water rates
  • Hotspots H2O — HotSpots H2O examines regions, populations, and countries that are most at risk from water-related unrest and conflict.
  • Stranded Assets — Water scarcity altering the global economy and stranding billions of dollars of assets
  • ChokePoint — Award-winning series revealing the competition for water between food, energy and the environment in a new era of climate stress
  • The Biggest Dry — Australia’s Epic Drought (funded by Alpern Family Foundation)
  • Hidden Waters, Dragons in the Deep — Karst waters in China and the country’s vulnerable water supply (funded by The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars)
  • Reign of Sand — Inner Mongolia the threat to commerce, environment and culture in the desertification of Inner Mongolia
  • Tehuacán: Divining Destiny — water scarcity and human migration in Mexico (funded by Ford Foundation)
  • Septic Infrastructure in The United States — This reporting on America’s “under-the-radar” septic infrastructure won first place in 2016 for “outstanding explanatory reporting” from the Society for Environmental Journalists.

Collection and organization of water data.

Water Pricing Collection

Curated water pricing data in the United States providing new perspectives for evaluating water use

Water Situational Awareness

Real-time monitoring and analysis of breaking news, water trends and conversations across multiple platforms

Water Polling

Commissioning original water surveys of expert and public opinion

  • WaterViews — Circle of Blue’s widely-referenced global poll

Daily and weekly briefing informing global thought leaders.

  • The Stream — Daily summary of water news
  • Federal Water Tap — Weekly digest spotting trends in U.S. government water policy
  • What’s up with Water — Weekly podcast summary of global water news
  • Speaking of Water — Podcast interviews
  • WaterNews — Weekly roundup of Circle of Blue’s timely reporting
  • Social Media Platforms — Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram

Water Dashboard

Interactive visualizations keyed to a repository of the most relevant global water information.

  • Know Water — Using location information for users to discover where their water comes from, how it gets to them, and where it goes after use
  • Systems Mapping — Revealing relationships between people, organizations and political processes
  • Crisis Mapping, Solutions Networks — Identifying and monitoring situations as they unfold, with information vital to assessing and addressing them

In-person and virtual networks linking people to water and each other.

Convening / Events

Collaborative gatherings, information exchanges and situation-specific briefings.

Past events include:

  • Watershed at the Vatican
  • H2O Catalyst: From Michigan to the Nation – A Groundwater Emergency
  • H2O Catalyst: Making Groundwater Crises Visible
  • H2O Catalyst: How Global Conflicts are Changing Water’s Value
  • H2O Catalyst: From Values to Value
  • H2O Catalyst: California Drought
  • H2O Catalyst: U.S. Infrastructure in Peril
  • H2O Catalyst: Stranded Assets
  • H2O Catalyst: Water Scenarios – China (World Economic Forum)
  • H2O Catalyst: Value to Values (Stockholm)
  • H2O Catalyst: Everglades

Educational Initiatives

Inviting active participation by future decision-makers

  • The Blue Roots Project
  • Citizen Scientists network
  • Experiential learning
  • Customizable study kits based on Circle of Blue content

Circle of Blue’s Timeline