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EPA Climate Change and Water News May 9, 2014

EPA Climate Change and Water News is a bi-weekly newsletter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water that covers climate change and water-related news from EPA, other federal agencies, and partners.

To learn more about climate change impacts on water resources, visit our website: http://www.epa.gov/water/climatechange.

For a calendar of climate change and water-related trainings, conferences, webinars, and other events, visit http://water.epa.gov/scitech/climatechange/Calendar-of-Events.cfm.



U.S. EPA News

EPA National Water Program Publishes 2013 Highlights of Progress: Responses to Climate Change
In 2012, the EPA National Water Program released the "National Water Program 2012 Strategy." This document describes long-term goals for the management of sustainable water resources in light of climate change and provides a roadmap to guide future programmatic planning.  The 2013 Highlights of Progress Report is organized around the six vision areas described in the "2012 Strategy" - water infrastructure, watersheds and wetlands, coastal and ocean waters, water quality, working with Tribes, and cross-cutting program support. It provides a summary of the major climate change-related accomplishments of EPA's national and regional water programs in 2013.  This is the fifth climate change progress report for the EPA National Water Program.  To access the report, visit: http://water.epa.gov/scitech/climatechange/2012-National-Water-Program-Strategy.cfm.

Directory of Regional Climate Change Adaptation Programs of Federal Natural Resource Agencies Posted Online
Federal agencies are implementing diverse actions to help prepare for the impacts of climate change including developing and implementing climate change adaptation plans.  Several federal natural resources agencies have also organized multi-state, regional programs or initiatives to deliver climate change adaptation information and assistance at a regional level.  The EPA National Water Program has created a directory of regional climate change adaptation programs of federal natural resource agencies as a tool to strengthen coordination to assist in preparing for a changing climate.  The first section of this directory provides a short summary of the various federal natural resource agency programs that are deployed on a regional basis to support climate change adaptation, as well as a map of the region or area served by the program.  The second section of this directory is organized by the eight regions described in the Third National Climate Assessment released May 6th by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.  To view the directory, visit: http://water.epa.gov/scitech/climatechange/Partners-and-Stakeholders.cfm.

Post-Graduate Climate Change and Water Internship Opportunity Available at EPA in Washington, D.C.
A postgraduate internship position is available at the EPA Office of Water in Washington, D.C.  The internship will focus on addressing the impacts of climate change on water resources and EPA's water programs.  Candidates who are interested in water-related climate change adaptation, resilience, and greenhouse gas mitigation and who would like to gain experience and insight into how national environmental programs are managed, how environmental policies are developed, and how federal programs interact with state, local, and tribal partners, are encouraged to apply.  The selected intern will learn how climate change affects water resources and EPA's water mission and will participate on special projects underway to develop information to support climate change adaptation and, to a lesser degree, mitigation.  The project will focus on communications, outreach, and information management.  In addition, the intern will be involved in identifying research opportunities.  To read the full internship description and learn how to apply, visit http://orise.orau.gov/science-education/internships-scholarships-fellowships/description.aspx?JobId=14744.

EPA Issues Version 2 of Blueprint for Integrating Technology Innovation into the National Water Program
EPA recognizes the importance of technology innovation to improving and protecting water resources and continues to evaluate how best to foster technology innovation.  Technology innovation is defined as the development and deployment of new technologies and processes; new applications of existing technology; production change; and organizational, management and cultural changes that can improve the condition and sustainability of our water resources.  The "Blueprint for Integrating Technology Innovation into the National Water Program, Version 1" highlighted EPA's initial ideas and plans for advancing technology innovation across various water programs.  Version 2 of this blueprint expands on those ideas and frames the business case for water technology innovation.  To view the document, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/innovation/water-technology-innovation.

WaterSense Encourages Spring Sprinkler Spruce-Up
For much of the country, it's time to say goodbye to winter and hello to summer's warmth.  Before the watering season begins in earnest, WaterSense is encouraging homeowners to do a Sprinkler Spruce-Up and check their irrigation systems to ensure they are operating efficiently.  An improperly programmed or leaking irrigation system could waste as much as 30,000 gallons of water and cost as much as $120 each year. By following four simple steps--inspect, connect, direct, and select--homeowners with irrigation systems can maintain healthy landscapes and reduce water waste.  Inspect irrigation systems for clogged, broken, or missing sprinkler heads and replace where necessary.  Connect sprinkler heads tightly to pipes or hoses to prevent water pooling and leaks.  Direct spray away from driveways and sidewalks to water only lawns and plants.  Select a watering schedule that meets your lawn's minimum needs, or replace your clock timer with a WaterSense-labeled irrigation controller.  The WaterSense website also has information about smart outdoor practices that can help homeowners develop a water-smart landscape that will require less water and maintenance.  To learn more, visit: http://www.epa.gov/watersense/outdoor/.


Other U.S. Federal Agency News

Third National Climate Assessment Report Released
On May 6th, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released the Third National Climate Assessment. The report summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.  A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.  The Third National Climate Assessment describes the impacts of climate change across ten geographic regions of the United States, and in economic sectors such as agriculture, energy, and health.  The descriptions translate scientific insights into practical information that can help decision-makers and citizens anticipate and prepare for climate-change impacts.

The report is available for download and can be explored in an interactive format through the new U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program website - http://globalchange.gov.  An important feature of this interactivity is the traceability of the data and other information in the report, giving users the means to refer back to this data for analysis and decision support.

To view the National Climate Assessment as a full report, highlights, or an overview, visit: http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/.

For links to key resources such as the adaptation chapter of the report and federal adaptation resources, visit: http://globalchange.gov/explore/adaptation.

For a calendar of events surrounding the National Climate Assessment, visit the NCAnet Partners Calendar: http://ncanet.usgcrp.gov/partners/calendar.


Other News

Massachusetts Awards 2014 Coastal Community Resilience Grants
On April 4, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan announced nearly $1 million in funding through the Office of Coastal Zone Management Coastal Community Resilience Grants Program to support local climate preparedness efforts to address the effects of coastal storms, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise now and into the future.  Grants funded through the first round include projects that will increase awareness of sea level rise and other climate impacts, identify community vulnerabilities and risks, develop targeted strategies, and implement on-the-ground measures to increase community resilience.  View the press release at: http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2014/coastal-grants.html.

Report Released on Designing Water Rate Structures for Conservation and Revenue Stability
Water conservation is critical to meeting future water needs.  A number of utilities across Texas are making strong efforts to advance water conservation.  One of the most effective methods is water pricing. Used effectively, price can provide a signal to users regarding the value and supply of water so they can adjust their demand accordingly.  However, rates are also the primary revenue mechanism for utilities that are also tasked with protecting public health and the environment.  This can create a disincentive for the utility to increase conservation.  Fixing this conflict requires rethinking the current business model.  The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter have collaborated on a report, "Designing Water Rate Structures for Conservation and Revenue Stability,"to help Texas water utilities use their water rates and financial policies to encourage customers to reduce their water use while still maintaining the financial viability of the utility.  The report provides snapshots on the relationship between water pricing, water use, and revenue stability in Texas.  To access the report, visit: http://efc.web.unc.edu/2014/02/26/water-rate-structures-for-conservation-and-revenue-stability/.


Upcoming Events

Climate Strategies Forum (May 12-14, 2014)
Organizer: Association of Climate Change Officers
Location: Washington, D.C.

Webinar: Community Adaptation in the City (May 22, 2014, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EDT)

Organizer: National Adaptation Webinar Series

Webinar: Financing Adaptation (May 28, 2014, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EDT)

Organizer: U.S. EPA Climate Ready Water Utilities Webinar Series


Webinar: Planning Green Infrastructure with Stakeholder Input (June 4, 2014, 4:00 - 5:45 p.m. EDT)
Organizer: Consortium for Climate Risks in the Urban Northeast

Climate Change Resilience Summit – Governance and Reforms (June 5-6, 2014)
Organizer: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Location: Washington, D.C.

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