Tag Archives: water

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.


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


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


Science Debate 2012: Critical Natural Resources

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 Critical Natural Resources:

Supply shortages of natural resources affect economic growth, quality of life, and national security; for example China currently produces 97% of rare earth elements needed for advanced electronics. What steps should the federal government take to ensure the quality and availability of critical natural resources?

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

Understanding the Changing Planet

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Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences172 pages | Paperback | Price: $39.60From the oceans to continental heartlands, human activities have altered the physical characteristics of Earth’s surface. With Earth’s population projected to peak at 8 to 12 billion people by 2050 and the additional stress of climate change, it is more… [more]

Minerals, Critical Minerals, and the U.S. Economy

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Minerals, Critical Minerals, and the U.S. Economy264 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.10Minerals are part of virtually every product we use. Common examples include copper used in electrical wiring and titanium used to make airplane frames and paint pigments. The Information Age has ushered in a number of new mineral uses in a number of products… [more]

Confronting the Nation's Water Problems

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Confronting the Nation’s Water Problems: The Role of Research324 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.10In order to confront the increasingly severe water problems faced by all parts of the country, the United States needs to make a new commitment to research on water resources. A new mechanism is needed to coordinate water research currently fragmented among… [more]

Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences

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Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences200 pages | Paperback | Price: $45.00New research opportunities to advance hydrologic sciences promise a better understanding of the role of water in the Earth system that could help improve human welfare and the health of the environment. Reaching this understanding will require both… [more]

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]

7 New Books In Education, Hydrology, Climate Change & Hybrid Vehicles

Our featured publication of the new books this week is in the topic of education and has already found a good deal of popularity thanks to this article in Education Week. There’s six more books (five with free PDFs) new to nap.edu this week, dealing with subjects such as water and hydrology, testing, and conflict and security issues.

Featured Publication

Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy (prepublication)

Teachers make a difference. The success of any plan for improving educational outcomes depends on the teachers who carry it out and thus on the abilities of those attracted to the field and their preparation. Yet there are many questions about how teachers are being prepared and how they ought to be prepared. Yet, teacher preparation is often treated as an afterthought in discussions of improving the public education system.

Preparing Teachers addresses the issue of teacher preparation with specific attention to reading, mathematics, and science. The book evaluates the characteristics of the candidates who enter teacher preparation programs, the sorts of instruction and experiences teacher candidates receive in preparation programs, and the extent that the required instruction and experiences are consistent with converging scientific evidence. Preparing Teachers also identifies a need for a data collection model to provide valid and reliable information about the content knowledge, pedagogical competence, and effectiveness of graduates from the various kinds of teacher preparation programs.

Federal and state policy makers need reliable, outcomes-based information to make sound decisions, and teacher educators need to know how best to contribute to the development of effective teachers. Clearer understanding of the content and character of effective teacher preparation is critical to improving it and to ensuring that the same critiques and questions are not being repeated 10 years from now.

All New Publications

Best Practices for State Assessment Systems Part I: Summary of a Workshop (prepublication)

Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary (prepublication)

Review of the WATERS Network Science Plan (prepublication)

The Use of Title 42 Authority at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: A Letter Report (prepublication)

National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces: Letter Report (final)

Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (final)