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EPA Climate Change and Water News

Key points about recent events in the EPA concerning climate change and water.

EPA Climate Change and Water News


U.S. EPA News

WaterSense Intends to Revise the Irrigation Partner and Professional Certification Program
WaterSense recently announced its intent to modify its specifications for certification programs for irrigation professionals and the WaterSense irrigation professional partnership.  The notification of intent outlines EPA's evaluation of the benefits and challenges associated with the existing irrigation partnership program, its experience in running the certification program, and its desire to expand the program's scope to attain additional water savings.  The outlined intended revisions are two-fold: development of a consolidated and common set of general requirements that will apply to all professional certifying organizations and removal of the individual irrigation partnership designation to allow the benefits of partnership to extend to all professionals certified by WaterSense labeled programs.  WaterSense is soliciting input from stakeholders who would like to provide comment on the Agency's proposal.  For more information, visit: http://epa.gov/watersense/partners/product_program_specs.html#noi.

EPA Releases Report: "Implications of Climate Change for State Bioassessment Programs and Approaches to Account for Effects"
This final report uses biological data collected in wadeable rivers and streams, by four states, to examine the components of state and tribal bioassessment and biomonitoring programs that may be vulnerable to climate change.  The study investigates the potential to identify biological response signals to climate change within existing bioassessment data sets; analyzes how biological responses can be categorized and interpreted; and assesses how they may influence decision-making processes.  The analyses suggest that several biological indicators may be used to detect climate change effects and such indicators can be used by state bioassessment programs to document changes at high-quality reference sites.  To view the report, visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/global/recordisplay.cfm?deid=239585.

EPA Releases Freshwater Biological Traits Database Report
This final report discusses the development of a database of freshwater biological traits.  The database combines several existing traits databases into an online format.  The database is also augmented with additional traits that are relevant to detecting climate change-related effects, especially traits related to temperature tolerances and flow.  For more information, visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/global/recordisplay.cfm?deid=241813.


Other U.S. Federal Agency News

NOAA Reports Warmest First Nine Months of Any Year on Record for the Contiguous United States
According to NOAA's recent "State of the Climate" report, the January-September 2012 period was the warmest first nine months of any year on record for the contiguous United States.  The national average temperature of 59.8 degrees Fahrenheit was 3.8 degrees above the 20th century average, and 1.2 degrees above the previous record warm January-September of 2006.  During the nine-month period, 46 states had temperatures among their ten warmest, with 25 states being record warm.  Only the State of Washington had statewide temperatures near average for the period.  To view the full "State of the Climate" report, visit: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2012/9.

U.S. Department of the Interior Awards Regional Climate Science Center Funding
Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, has announced funding of more than $10 million awarded by the Department of the Interior's Regional Climate Science Centers (CSCs) to universities or other partners for research to guide managers of parks, refuges, and other resources in planning how to help species and ecosystems adapt to climate change.  For example, CSC-funded projects identify how sea-level rise will affect coastal resources, how climate will affect vegetation, how these changes will affect valued species, and how changes in water availability will affect people and ecosystems as well as ecosystem services such as fisheries.  Several studies address the potential effects on resources of concern to Native Americans, some by using traditional ecological knowledge to advance adaptation planning.  For more information, visit: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3423&from=rss_home#.UHXGdlKz5pT<
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