Policy Solutions: Reports & Issue Papers

All Reports & Issue Papers Tagged water

Implementation of the Agricultural Water Management Planning Act
70% of California’s Irrigation Districts Fail to Complete Required Agricultural Water Management Plans
Issue Paper
Irrigated agriculture is important to California, and draws upon roughly 80 percent of the state's developed water supplies. The industry produces diverse and important commodities, and employs thousands of people across a broad swath of the state. In recognition of its importance, the Agricultural Water Management Planning Act requires large irrigation districts to create comprehensive plans for their water futures.
Climate Change and Water Resource Management
Adaptation Strategies for Protecting People and the Environment
Fact Sheet
From urban and agricultural water supplies to flood management and aquatic ecosystem protection, global warming is affecting all aspects of water resource management in the United States. Rising temperatures, loss of snowpack, escalating size and frequency of flood events, and rising sea levels are just some of the impacts of climate change that have broad implications for the management of water resources. Reducing the global warming pollution that causes climate change is a critical step we must take, but water resource managers and elected officials must act now to prepare for the impacts of the warming that have already occurred or are unavoidable. Get document in pdf.
More Water, Less Waste
Improving Global Sanitation and Freshwater Access with Waterless Toilets and Rainwater Harvesting
Fact Sheet
Around the world, temperatures are rising and sources of freshwater are becoming increasingly unpredictable. Two and a half billion people already lack access to basic sanitation, and nearly one billion people lack access to safe drinking water. Adding to the problem, global warming is expected to lead to more floods and more droughts, both of which reduce the availability of safe, clean freshwater for drinking, sanitation, irrigation and other basic needs. Fortunately, there are technologies such as waterless toilets and rainwater harvesting that can be deployed immediately -- and cost-effectively -- to improve sanitation, protect existing supplies of freshwater, and create new sources of safe water. Get document in pdf.
Ready or Not: How Water-Ready is Your State or City?
Report
As climate change affects communities across the U.S., some states are leading the way in preparing for the impacts on water resources. These states are reducing carbon pollution and planning for climate change impacts. Yet many states are not acting and remain woefully unprepared. NRDC's first-of-its-kind state-by-state analysis examines climate preparedness levels in all states, revealing nation's best and worst.
HidroAysén's Environmental Impact Review
Weaknesses and Needed Solutions
Fact Sheet
Chile’s environmental review of large energy projects has been a repeated source of conflict for communities, companies, and the government. Large and harmful projects, such as the Bio Bio dams in the 1990s, the Barrancones coal plant in 2010, and the current proposed HidroAysén mega-dam complex in Patagonia, were evaluated under a fundamentally flawed system. This inadequate system does not conform to international standards and it often fails to fully assess the environmental impacts or improve the quality of projects. The Chilean parliament revised the environmental review law in late 2010 to address some of the most problematic issues. But these changes are limited and came too late for the controversial proposed HidroAysén dam project, which is fatally flawed and should not be built. Chile should further reform its environmental review system to bring it in line with international standards and reduce potential risk around future projects. Get document in pdf.
Protecting a Shared Future
Assessing and Advancing the Sustainable Management of the Great Lakes through Water Conservation and Efficiency
Issue Paper
The Great Lakes form the largest surface freshwater system on the Earth, containing nearly 20 percent of the world's and 96 percent of the United States’ total supply of fresh surface water. More than 40 million people depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water, fishing, recreation, and commerce, and more than 1.5 million U.S. jobs are directly connected to the region. Although the waters of the Great Lakes are vast, they are not inexhaustible.
Rising Tide of Illness: How Global Warming Could Increase the Threat of Waterborne Diseases
Fact Sheet
Although there is little public discussion of the problem, disease outbreaks caused by contaminated water occur regularly. Researchers estimate that, including unreported cases, between 4 and 33 million waterborne gastrointestinal illnesses occur each year in the United States. Global warming is projected to increase the risk of more frequent and more widespread outbreaks of waterborne illnesses, due to higher temperatures and more severe weather events. To help prevent increased occurrence of water-related illnesses, the CDC should improve surveillance of waterborne disease outbreaks, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should improve water quality regulations, and Congress should act to limit emissions of global warming pollutants. We need to act now to protect public health today while preparing for the impacts of climate change.
Get document in pdf.

Track Current Legislation

Recent Legislative Fact Sheets

The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act is a Step to Building our Clean Energy Future
Senator Markey's legislation to establish a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and standalone Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) would put in place key tools in the fight to address dangerous climate change. In order to meet our...
It's Time to Build an Economy that is Stronger, Cleaner, Healthier, and Made to Last
Clean energy and energy efficiency have provided a robust source for economic growth and innovation during difficult times and we should not reverse course. The impending budget sequester and expiring tax incentives will significantly reduce...
State Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rules and Enforcement: A Comparison
This analysis provides a comprehensive comparison of existing disclosure requirements for states with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations. It finds more than half of the states with hydraulic fracturing activity currently have no...

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