August 16, 2016 NOAA and its partners have developed a new forecasting tool to simulate how water moves throughout the nation’s rivers and streams, paving the way for the biggest improvement in flood forecasting the country has ever seen.
Conservation professionals have a challenging path ahead, but resilience finance makes it easier. Out of the carnage that Hurricane Andrew caused in 1992, a market for catastrophe (‘cat’) bonds was born. While ordinary bonds pay buyers interest to cover the risk of default by the issuer, cat bonds compensate buyers with higher interest rates for taking on the risk of extreme events. In the event that disaster hits, investors lose their principal.
The State of Climate Adaptation in Water Resources Management: Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean
The intent of this report is to provide a brief overview of key climate change impacts and a review of the prevalent work occurring on climate change adaptation in the Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean, especially focusing on activities as they relate to water resources. The Southeastern United States includes Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, and Florida. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) comprise the U.S. Caribbean region. This report presents the results of EcoAdapt’s efforts to survey, inventory, and, where possible, assess climate-informed water resources action in the region.
The Source Water Collaborative is pleased to announce its latest Learning Exchange, Source Water Protection through Conservation Funding. This module features case stories from drinking water industry and conservation leaders who have capitalized on resources provided through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to target source water concerns through voluntary local conservation partnerships.
After hosting 15 different Listening Sessions with 500 people across the country, and gathering innovative and groundbreaking solutions to major problems in water management, we put together seven policy briefs as part of the One Water for America Policy Framework.
The mission of Priority Ecosystem Science (PES) is to provide science in support of adaptive management of ecosystems that have near-term societal concern and significant long-term societal value. Studies are designed to serve local ecosystem management needs and to provide knowledge and approaches transferable to similar ecosystems across the Nation. PES efforts focus in areas where new integrated science approaches can be developed to address the needs of a diverse group of decision-makers and to meet Department of the Interior's responsibilities to manage the Nation's lands.
This new, interactive website for water system partnerships is a one-stop-shop for states, public water systems, and the general public to find cooperative tools to address their drinking water challenges. The website will lead you through the story of partnerships, exploring the different types of partnerships to consider, and outlining examples of successful partnerships across the country. There are pages with resources, both national and state, to assist systems in the partnerships process.
Climate change and the eco-hydrology of fire: Will area burned increase in a warming western USA?
By Donald McKenzie and Jeremy Littell
Wildfire area is predicted to increase with global warming. Empirical statistical models and process-based simulations agree almost universally. The key relationship for this unanimity, observed at multiple spatial and temporal scales, is between drought and fire.
Predictive models often focus on ecosystems in which this relationship appears to be particularly strong, such as mesic and arid forests and shrublands with substantial biomass such as chaparral. We examine the drought–fire relationship, specifically the correlations between water-balance deficit and annual area burned, across the full gradient of deficit in the western USA, from temperate rainforest to desert.
In the middle of this gradient, conditional on vegetation (fuels), correlations are strong, but outside this range the equivalence hotter and drier equals more fire either breaks down or is contingent on other factors such as previous-year climate. This suggests that the regional drought–fire dynamic will not be stationary in future climate, nor will other more complex contingencies associated with the variation in fire extent.
Predictions of future wildfire area therefore need to consider not only vegetation changes, as some dynamic vegetation models now do, but also potential changes in the drought–fire dynamic that will ensue in a warming climate.
US Geological Survey (ret.)
America is at a crossroads. Now more than ever there is uncertainty around water supplies and quality across the country. At the same time, innovative leaders in regions across the country are driving groundbreaking solutions to secure a sustainable water future, now and for future generations. How do we foster a new era of collaboration and progress in water management? How do we align policy at every level of government to accelerate the innovative solutions that local leaders are pioneering?
We posed these questions and asked for solutions at 15 different Listening Sessions with 500 people across the country. Today, we are proud to begin the rollout of our One Water for America Policy Framework with the executive summary. Through the Listening Sessions we heard from leaders on the front lines of managing our nation's waters: utilities, city officials, farmers, environmental groups, community organizations, investors, and more. The insights from the Listening Sessions were then organized into 7 Big Ideas for the sustainable management of water, which we will release as a series of policy briefs starting in January.