Do sustainable farmland investments deliver financial, environmental and social returns? With the rise of impact investing, there has been a jump in investment strategies promoting sustainable agriculture. This research attempts to understand the strategies and performance of a subset of farmland investors focused on sustainability. The project included a literature review and a series of 15 interviews with leaders in the field of farmland investing. It appears that sustainable farmland investment managers are generally able to deliver financial, environmental and social returns. However, due to limited information, we are unable to define to what extent those returns are attributable to specific sustainable agriculture activities. The initial findings point to success with organic conversion, water efficiency, and grass-fed beef. This report explores investment performance, value drivers, management models, public incentives, case studies, project challenges, financial risks, and next steps for the industry. It is our hope that this report will serve as a basis for continued progress in the field of sustainable farmland investing.
On October 27, 2016, EPA announced a draft guide, toolkit, and technical assistance to promote comprehensive, community-wide planning approaches to manage stormwater. EPA considers this guide a draft that will be supplemented with an integrated online tool to assist communities in implementing the planning process, piloted through community-based technical assistance efforts, and updated over time with feedback from users.
EPA has developed innovative models, tools, and technologies for communities to manage urban water runoff. The models and tools in this toolkit incorporate green infrastructure practices to help communities manage their water resources in a more sustainable way, increasing resilience to future changes, such as climate and extreme events.
In June 2009, Ecology and Reclamation brought representatives from the Yakama Nation, irrigation districts, environmental organizations, and federal, state, county, and city governments together to form the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project (YRBWEP) Working Group to help develop a consensus-based solution to the basin’s water problems. Over the next 18 months, the group developed the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan (Plan). Ecology and Reclamation issued a Programmatic Environmental Impact (PEIS) for the Plan March 2, 2012. The PEIS serves as a framework for the plan. Individual projects will each receive a more specific environmental review.
(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - After a decade of litigation, the State of Alaska announced this week it will not seek further appeal in the Akiachak Native Community v. State of Alaska. The State’s decision followed a landmark ruling issued in June 2016 by the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit that rejected the State of Alaska’s attempt to block the Department of the Interior (DOI) from taking land into trust to safeguard it for Alaska tribes.
Download the 2016 report, led by the Department of Interior, responds to requirements under the SECURE Water Act of 2009. It shows several increased risks to western United States water resources during the 21st century. What I find interesting about the assessment is the basin by basin review of potential impacts on specific basins in the western United States.
I wanted to alert you to a new report from River Network about water policy and management of water security and instream flows. While the report focuses on Southeastern Rivers, the way they approach the topic can be very instructional for the issue of instream flow policy for any region. I recommend taking a look to consider how stream flow is being impacted by climate for your waters (drought, flood, withdrawals, etc,) and consider adaptation strategies for your region for enhanced water security. The weblink and details are below. River Network would like to support outreach and policy action on stream flows. If you're interested, I recommend contacting Katherine Baer at River Network to discuss the possibilities.
The Oregon Water Resources Commission adopted the state's first Integrated Water Resources Strategy on August 2, 2012. The Strategy provides a blueprint to help the state better understand and meet its instream and out-of-stream needs, taking into account water quantity, water quality, and ecosystem needs.
A global mapping tool and database launched today, examines how forest loss, fires, unsustainable land use and other threats to natural infrastructure affect water security throughout the world. GFW Water provides data sets, statistics and risk scores for all of the world’s 230 watersheds, areas of land where all of the water drains to a common outlet such as a river. Users can drop a pin anywhere to learn about the risks to the water supply near them, and find resources on how investing in natural infrastructure protection can help alleviate these threats.