Tag Archives: sustainability

How to Expand the Water Supply – Evidence-Based Options for Drought-Affected Communities

Last week, California’s Governor Jerry Brown announced the first mandatory water restrictions in the state’s history. After four years of drought, the state is being challenged to cut water output by 25 percent while meeting the competing water needs of residents, industry, and agriculture. This image from the National Drought Mitigation Center shows the severity of the drought.

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What options do states and communities have to increase the supply of usable water and protect the environment? Reports from the National Research Council explore water management, water reuse, and environmental management. All are free to download.

Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater

Expanding water reuse–the use of treated wastewater for beneficial purposes including irrigation, industrial uses, and drinking water augmentation–could significantly increase the nation’s total available water resources. Water Reuse

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Understanding Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater

In communities all around the world, water supplies are coming under increasing pressure as population growth, climate change, pollution, and changes in land use affect water quantity and quality. To address existing and anticipated water …

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Desalination: A National Perspective

There has been an exponential increase in desalination capacity both globally and nationally since 1960, fueled in part by growing concern for local water scarcity and made possible to a great extent by a major federal investment for desalination …

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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage of Recoverable Water

Growing demands for water in many parts of the nation are fueling the search for new approaches to sustainable water management, including how best to store water. Society has historically relied on dams and reservoirs, but problems such as high …

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Sustainable Water and Environmental Management in the California Bay-Delta

Extensively modified over the last century and a half, California’s San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary remains biologically diverse and functions as a central element in California’s water supply system. Uncertainties about the future, actions …

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Toward a Sustainable and Secure Water Future: A Leadership Role for the U.S. Geological Survey

Water is our most fundamental natural resource, a resource that is limited. Challenges to our nation’s water resources continue to grow, driven by population growth, ecological needs, climate change, and other pressures. The nation needs more and …

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A Review of the Use of Science and Adaptive Management in California’s Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan

The San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary is a large, complex estuarine ecosystem in California. It has been substantially altered by dikes, levees, channelization, pumps, human development, introduced species, dams on its tributary streams and …

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A Scientific Assessment of Alternatives for Reducing Water Management Effects on Threatened and Endangered Fishes in California’s Bay Delta

California’s Bay-Delta estuary is a biologically diverse estuarine ecosystem that plays a central role in the distribution of California’s water from the state’s wetter northern regions to its southern, arid, and populous cities and agricultural …

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Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making

Nutrient recycling, habitat for plants and animals, flood control, and water supply are among the many beneficial services provided by aquatic ecosystems. In making decisions about human activities, such as draining a wetland for a housing …

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Colorado River Basin Water Management: Evaluating and Adjusting to Hydroclimatic Variability

Recent studies of past climate and streamflow conditions have broadened understanding of long-term water availability in the Colorado River, revealing many periods when streamflow was lower than at any time in the past 100 years of recorded …

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Science Debate 2012: Energy

The leading U.S. science and engineering organizations developed a list of 14 science policy questions facing the U.S. in 2012. You can read these questions–and the Presidential candidates’ answers–at ScienceDebate.org.

For each of the Science Debate 2012 questions, we’re going to provide you a selection of the authoritative and unbiased resources of the National Academies to help inform your response to the candidates’ answers. Today, we’re looking at this ScienceDebate question on Energy:

Many policymakers and scientists say energy security and sustainability are major problems facing the United States this century. What policies would you support to meet the demand for energy while ensuring an economically and environmentally sustainable future?

How would you respond? Download these reports for free at NAP.edu or purchase a print copy to read.

America's Energy Future

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America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation650 pages | Paperback | Price: $62.95For multi-user PDF licensing, please contact customer service.Energy touches our lives in countless ways and its costs are felt when we fill up at the gas pump, pay our home heating bills, and… [more]
Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States

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Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States352 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.95For multi-user PDF licensing, please contact customer service.America’s economy and lifestyles have been shaped by the low prices and availability of energy. In the last decade, however, the… [more]
Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass

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Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impacts388 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.95The transportation sector cannot continue on its current path: The volatility of oil prices threatens the U.S. economy, the large proportion of oil importation threatens U.S. energy security, and the massive contribution of greenhouse gases… [more]
Electricity from Renewable Resources

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Electricity from Renewable Resources: Status, Prospects, and Impediments388 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.95A component in the America’s Energy Future study, Electricity from Renewable Resources examines the technical potential for electric power generation with alternative sources such as wind, solar-photovoltaic, geothermal, solar-thermal, hydroelectric,… [more]
Hidden Costs of Energy

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Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use506 pages | Paperback | Price: $42.30Despite the many benefits of energy, most of which are reflected in energy market prices, the production, distribution, and use of energy causes negative effects. Many of these negative effects are not reflected in energy market prices. When market failures like… [more]

Science Debate 2012: Food

The leading U.S. science and engineering organizations developed a list of 14 science policy questions facing the U.S. in 2012. You can read these questions–and the Presidential candidates’ answers–at ScienceDebate.org.

For each of the Science Debate 2012 questions, we’re going to provide you a selection of the authoritative and unbiased resources of the National Academies to help inform your response to the candidates’ answers. Today, we’re looking at this ScienceDebate question on Food:

Thanks to science and technology, the United States has the world’s most productive and diverse agricultural sector, yet many Americans are increasingly concerned about the health and safety of our food. The use of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, as well as animal diseases and even terrorism pose risks. What steps would you take to ensure the health, safety and productivity of America’s food supply?

How would you respond? Download these reports for free at NAP.edu or purchase a print copy to read.

Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century

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Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century598 pages | Paperback | Price: $58.50In the last 20 years, there has been a remarkable emergence of innovations and technological advances that are generating promising changes and opportunities for sustainable agriculture, yet at the same time the agricultural sector worldwide faces numerous… [more]
Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States

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Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States270 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.10Since genetically engineered (GE) crops were introduced in 1996, their use in the United States has grown rapidly, accounting for 80-90 percent of soybean, corn, and cotton acreage in 2009. To date, crops with traits that provide resistance to some herbicides… [more]
Ensuring Safe Foods and Medical Products Through Stronger Regulatory Systems Abroad

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Ensuring Safe Foods and Medical Products Through Stronger Regulatory Systems Abroad366 pages | Paperback | Price: $57.60A very high portion of the seafood we eat comes from abroad, mainly from China and Southeast Asia, and most of the active ingredients in medicines we take originate in other countries. Many low- and middle-income countries have lower labor costs and fewer and… [more]
Hunger and Obesity

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Hunger and Obesity: Understanding a Food Insecurity Paradigm: Workshop Summary240 pages | Paperback | Price: $46.35At some point during 2009, more than 17 million households in the United States had difficulty providing enough food for all their members because of a lack of resources. In more than one-third of these households, the food intake of some household members… [more]
Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach

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Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach: Workshop Summary418 pages | Paperback | Price: $66.60Globalization of the food supply has created conditions favorable for the emergence, reemergence, and spread of food-borne pathogens-compounding the challenge of anticipating, detecting, and effectively responding to food-borne threats to health. In the… [more]

16 New Books: Greenhouse Gases, Gulf War and Health, Helium Reserve, and more

I hope that those of you in the U.S. had a happy and relaxing Independence Day weekend. We welcome you back to the working week with one of the biggest lists of new books that we’ve had since we’ve started posting them once a week here on Notes From NAP. There’s sixteen of them, the vast majority of which have free PDFs available.

Because of the high number of new books this week, we’re going to present it here as a simple list. If you have any comments or questions about Notes From NAP, feel free to contact us through this form. We’d love to get any feedback you might have.

New Publications This Week

Persistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies–Report 2 (final)

A Foundation for Evidence-Driven Practice: A Rapid Learning System for Cancer Care: Workshop Summary (final)

Strengthening the National Institute of Justice (prepublication)

Steps Toward Large-Scale Data Integration in the Sciences: Summary of a Workshop (final)

Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Third Report (prepublication)

International Differences in Mortality at Older Ages: Dimensions and Sources (prepublication)

Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century (final)

Demographic Changes, a View from California: Implications for Framing Health Disparities: Workshop Summary (final)

Selling the Nation’s Helium Reserve (final)

Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy (final)

Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements (final)

Certifiably Sustainable?: The Role of Third-Party Certification Systems: Report of a Workshop (final)

Promoting Cardiovascular Health in the Developing World: A Critical Challenge to Achieve Global Health (final)

Realizing the Energy Potential of Methane Hydrate for the United States (final)

Gulf War and Health: Volume 8: Update of Health Effects of Serving in the Gulf War (final)

Envisioning the 2020 Census (final)