Tag Archives: water management

Resources on Groundwater Loss in Western States

loss of groundwater

This photo taken by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation shows that surface-water depletion in the Colorado River Basin has left this “bathtub ring” of mineral deposits on Lake Mead. While it can be easy to spot surface-water loss, groundwater loss is invisible.

A new study by NASA and University of California at Irvine reports that seven Western states that rely on the Colorado River Basin for water are drawing more heavily from groundwater supplies than previously believed, the latest indication that a historic drought is threatening the region’s future access to water.

Does climate change influence drought? What should be done to both provide water and protect ecosystems? Reports from the National Research Council explore these questions. Our resources discuss the science of climate change, consider climate change impacts at community and national levels, and recommend areas for further research. We also have reports that discuss options to provide water by improving water management and promoting water reuse. All are free to download.

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that …

[more]

Advancing the Science of Climate Change

Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for–and in many cases is already affecting–a broad range of human and natural systems. The compelling case for these conclusions is provided in …

[more]

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Across the United States, impacts of climate change are already evident. Heat waves have become more frequent and intense, cold extremes have become less frequent, and patterns of rainfall are likely changing. The proportion of precipitation that …

[more]

Global Change and Extreme Hydrology: Testing Conventional Wisdom

Climate theory dictates that core elements of the climate system, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, and reservoirs of atmospheric and soil moisture, should change as the climate warms, both in their means and extremes. A major …

[more]

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

[more]

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 …

[more]

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 …

[more]

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 …

[more]

Does Climate Change Influence Drought?

After three consecutive years of below-normal rainfall, California faces its most severe drought emergency in decades. This image from NOAA of snow in the Sierra Mountains illustrates how the historic lack of rain has created a water shortfall.

drought_california_map

NOAA image

Governor Jerry Brown has called for Californians to reduce water use by 20 percent voluntarily, and mandatory rationing could be ordered soon so that homes, businesses and farms don’t run dry over the summer. California’s drought has far-reaching consequences that include dramatically less water for farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas.

Does climate change influence drought? What should be done to both provide water and protect ecosystems? Reports from the National Research Council explore these questions. Our resources discuss the science of climate change, consider climate change impacts at community and national levels, and recommend areas for further research. We also have reports that discuss options to provide water by improving water management and promoting water reuse. All are free to download.

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that … [more]

Advancing the Science of Climate Change Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for–and in many cases is already affecting–a broad range of human and natural systems. The compelling case for these conclusions is provided in … [more]

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change Across the United States, impacts of climate change are already evident. Heat waves have become more frequent and intense, cold extremes have become less frequent, and patterns of rainfall are likely changing. The proportion of precipitation that … [more]

Global Change and Extreme Hydrology: Testing Conventional Wisdom Climate theory dictates that core elements of the climate system, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, and reservoirs of atmospheric and soil moisture, should change as the climate warms, both in their means and extremes. A major … [more]

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[more]

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 … [more]

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 … [more]

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 … [more]

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 … [more]

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 … [more]

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 … [more]

Science Debate 2012: Fresh Water

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 Fresh Water:

Less than one percent of the world’s water is liquid fresh water, and scientific studies suggest that a majority of U.S. and global fresh water is now at risk because of increasing consumption, evaporation and pollution. What steps, if any, should the federal government take to secure clean, abundant fresh water for all Americans?

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

 

Water Reuse

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Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater262 pages | Hardcover | Price: $57.60Expanding 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 presents a… [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]
Sustainable Water and Environmental Management in the California Bay-Delta

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Sustainable Water and Environmental Management in the California Bay-Delta280 pages | Paperback | Price: $47.70Extensively 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 taken under the… [more]
Achieving Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Goals in the Chesapeake Bay

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Achieving Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Goals in the Chesapeake Bay: An Evaluation of Program Strategies and Implementation258 pages | Paperback | Price: $49.05The Chesapeake Bay is North America’s largest and most biologically diverse estuary, as well as an important commercial and recreational resource. However, excessive amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment from human activities and land development have… [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]

Sharing Water: Making Decisions About Sustainable Water Management

Water: we need it every day, and use it in countless ways. As the world enters the second decade of the 21st century, the human community finds itself searching for new paradigms for water supply and management in response to expanding populations, sprawling development, climate change, and the limits of existing conventional supplies.

The following websites, video, and NAP reports present the issues and problems we face to make water available both now and in the future. Continue reading

Seven New Books: Sea Turtles, Space Exploration, and more

This past week, there were seven new publications on the NAP site, six of which have free PDFs. There were prepublications covering space exploration, climate, and sea turtles.

All New Publications This Week

Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millenia (prepublication)

Assessment of Sea-Turtle Status and Trends: Integrating Demography and Abundance (prepublication)

Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration: An Interim Report (prepublication)

Controlling Cost Growth of NASA Earth and Space Science Missions (prepublication)

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

A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension (final)

Final Report of The National Academies’ Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee and 2010 Amendments to the National Academies’ Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (final)

New Books: Health, Water Management, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and more

It’s Monday, so we’re doing our usual roundup of the publications that were new to the nap.edu catalog in the last week. As with many of our publications, all of the new publications this week have PDFs available to download for free.

Featured Publication

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


The world’s nations are moving toward agreements that will bind us together in an effort to limit future greenhouse gas emissions. With such agreements will come the need for all nations to make accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor changes over time. In this context, the present book focuses on the greenhouse gases that result from human activities, have long lifetimes in the atmosphere and thus will change global climate for decades to millennia or more, and are currently included in international agreements. The book devotes considerably more space to CO2 than to the other gases because CO2 is the largest single contributor to global climate change and is thus the focus of many mitigation efforts. Only data in the public domain were considered because public access and transparency are necessary to build trust in a climate treaty.

The book concludes that each country could estimate fossil-fuel CO2 emissions accurately enough to support monitoring of a climate treaty. However, current methods are not sufficiently accurate to check these self-reported estimates against independent data or to estimate other greenhouse gas emissions. Strategic investments would, within 5 years, improve reporting of emissions by countries and yield a useful capability for independent verification of greenhouse gas emissions reported by countries.

All New Publications This Week

Informing the Future: Critical Issues in Health, Fifth Edition (final)

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

Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 8 (final)

Medical Surge Capacity: Workshop Summary (final)

Ecosystem Concepts for Sustainable Bivalve Mariculture (final)

The Rise of Games and High Performance Computing for Modeling and Simulation (final)

Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution (final)

Review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Draft IRIS Assessment of Tetrachloroethylene (final)