Saturday, July 14, 2012

ENVIRO-NEWS: EPA Climate Change and Water News

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EPA Climate Change and Water News

Other Federal Agency News

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coastal Services Center Releases Report: Incorporating Sea Level Change Scenarios at the Local Level

Just as flooding threats need to be factored into coastal community planning initiatives, so too should sea level change.  Unfortunately, a 'one size fits all' approach does not work given the level of uncertainty and local variables.  Local calculations are required for a scenario approach.  This report outlines eight steps a community can take to develop site-specific scenarios.  Using the information provided in the report, communities can develop a process that incorporates a range of possibilities and factors to address the specific circumstances of a community, in addition to developing the data and information that officials will need to make communities readily adaptable to changing circumstances.  This report is a 'low-tech' companion for a technical report created by NOAA: Technical Considerations for Use of Geospatial Data in Sea Level Change Mapping and Assessment.  To view the report, please visit:

Other News

37th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop to Be Held July 14 - July 17, 2012 in Broomfield, CO

Since 1975, the Natural Hazards Center has hosted the Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop for federal, state, and local emergency officials; representatives of nonprofit and humanitarian organizations; hazards researchers; disaster consultants; and others dedicated to alleviating the impacts of disasters.  The Workshop is designed to bring researchers and practitioners from many disciplines together for face-to-face discussions on how society deals with hazards and disasters.  Session topics for this year's workshop include Climate Change and Extreme Events - Science and Practice, State and Drought Emergency Management and Emerging Critical Water Resource Issues.  For more information on the workshop, please visit:

First Stewards Symposium: Coastal Peoples Address Climate Change to Be Held July 17 - July 20, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

The symposium will bring together coastal indigenous tribal elders, leaders, scientists, and other scientists and policy leaders from around the nation to discuss traditional ecological knowledge and what it can teach us about past, present, and future adaptation to climate change. The event will include four regional panels (the West Coast states; Alaska; the U.S. Pacific states and territories; and the Great Lakes, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Gulf of Mexico states) of tribal leaders.  Tribal and Western scientists will examine how native people and their cultures have adapted to climate change for hundreds to thousands of years, and what their future - and that of the nation - may hold as the impacts of climate change continue.  This inaugural event will be hosted by several tribes in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, NOAA, and other partners. The symposium dialogue will identify ways indigenous cultures may be able to i!
 ncrease their resilience and adaptability to predicted climate change impacts.  For more information, please visit:

National Research Council Releases Booklet and Video to Help the Public Gain a Better Understanding of Climate Change

The National Research Council has released a new booklet and video designed to help the public gain a better understanding of what is known about climate change. The new resources are based on a number of independent reports from the National Research Council that represent the consensus of experts who have reviewed hundreds of studies describing many years of accumulating evidence.  The 36 page booklet, Climate Change: Evidence, Impacts, and Choices answers commonly asked questions about the science of climate change in three parts. Part I summarizes the current state of knowledge about climate change with evidence of climate change being observed around the world; Part II summarizes projections of future climate changes and impacts expected in this century and beyond; and, Part III examines how science can help inform choices about managing and reducing the risks posed by climate change.  The booklet is downloadable online and hard copies will be available later this summe!
 r.  A new video, Climate Change: Lines of Evidence, follows Part 1 of the booklet and explains the lines of evidence that have built the current scientific consensus about climate change and its causes. For more information about the booklet and the video, visit:

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative Releases Report: Sustainable Municipal Water Management - Measuring Progress and Reporting Publicly

In the face of accumulating impacts including urbanization and climate change, municipalities are increasingly embracing an integrated approach to water management that captures the full spectrum of a community's impact on water - cutting across traditional municipal delivery areas, to include infrastructure design and operations, land use planning and approvals, public education and participation, emergency planning and response, pollution prevention, and habitat and shoreline restoration.  The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative has developed a framework to reflect this new integrated approach, the Sustainable Municipal Water Management - Measuring Progress and Reporting Publicly.  The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a bi-national coalition of mayors and other local officials that works actively with federal, state, and provincial governments to advance the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.  The framework!
  was prepared under the guidance of the Cities Initiative Green CITTs advisory committee, with representation from large, medium and small municipalities across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence basin.  The Cities Initiative's Green CITTs program adopts a comprehensive approach to protecting shared water resources. To read the report, visit:

Study on 'Stress Index' Finds Water Supply Risk Could Threaten Growth in Vast Areas of U.S.

Vast areas of the United States are vulnerable to water shortages that could limit economic growth, according to a study by a United Kingdom risk analysis firm - Maplecroft.  Maplecroft's Global Risks Portfolio and services combine rigorous research with technological innovation to offer risk screens, monitoring tools and invaluable insights into the most challenging political, economic, social and environmental risks and responsibilities facing global business today.  Unsustainable household, agricultural, and industrial water use is outstripping supply in certain regions such as the Great Plains, according to the  Water Stress Index 2012, which was released in May 2012. The report also opined that these impacts could have wider effects on the global economy, such as decreasing food supplies and increasing food prices.  To determine the rankings, the report evaluated each country's renewable supplies of water from precipitation, streams, and rivers against its domestic, ind!
 ustrial, and agricultural uses.  To obtain a copy of the Water Stress Index 2012 and to see a global map of the index, please visit:

EcoSummit 2012: Ecological Sustainability - Restoring the Planet's Ecosystem Services to Be Held September 30 - October 5, 2012 in Columbus, OH

EcoSummit 2012 will bring together respected minds in ecological science to discuss restoring the planet's ecosystems.  Speakers will include Nobel Prize laureate Elinor Ostrom, Pulitzer Prize winners E.O. Wilson and Jared Diamond, Kyoto Prize winner Simon Levin, Stockholm Water Prize laureates Sven Jorgensen and William Mitsch, and others in the first conference to link the Ecological Society of America, the International Association for Ecology, and the Society for Ecological Restoration International.  Abstracts from 100 countries have been received by EcoSummit 2012 for presentations and workshops.  For more information, please visit:
This newsletter is produced by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water (EPA).  If you have questions related to the newsletter or want to submit an item, email the editor at For past issues of EPA Climate Change and Water News, as well as further information on climate change impacts on water resources, visit For more information on EPA's climate change activities, visit

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