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Santa Barbara pipeline spill highlights threats of tar sands expansion into the West Coast

May 22, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

Pipelines and the Coastal Environment

This spill in Santa Barbara uncovers the gap between industry's rhetoric and reality, revealing risks associated with oil transportation infrastructure, the poor record of leak detection technology, and the inadequacy of spill response[read more]

DC Water Announces New Proposal to Clean Up Rivers Using Green Infrastructure Instead of Tunnels

May 22, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

Green Infrastructure and Cleaner Waterways

Washington DC's water and sewer utility will use green infrastructure to catch rainfall and prevent sewage overflows into the Potomac River and Rock Creek instead of building the underground tunnels it had originally planned.[read more]

President Obama Regrettably Approves Oil Drilling in the Arctic Ocean

May 18, 2015 by Henry Auer

President Obama granted conditional approval to Shell to begin drilling in the Arctic Ocean off of Alaska. In addition to generating grave misgivings about possible environmental damage from drilling accidents, this decision represents a major compromise with the President’s own policies on global warming.[read more]

Three Reasons Why New Flood Protection Standards Are a Good Idea

May 7, 2015 by Peter Lehner

Federal Flood Policies

President Obama recently updated federal flood protection standards. These are the criteria government agencies use when building their own facilities, as well as when they decide whether to finance large public projects, such as train or bus terminals, electric transfer stations, or wastewater treatment plants.[read more]

$24 Trillion 'Asset' Value of World's Oceans May be a Gross Underestimation

May 5, 2015 by Roman Kilisek

Ocean Valuation

The world’s oceans cover about 71% of earth and their value is incalculable for both the planet and mankind. They are a vital, complex and all-encompassing natural resource ranging from a vital food resource in many parts of the world, renewable energy resource, and potential water supply reservoir.[read more]

Canadian Hydropower can Help States Achieve Carbon-Cutting Goals

May 5, 2015 by Kyle Aarons
1

Canadian Hydro and State Carbon Policies

About 10 percent of Canadian electricity, much of it generated from hydropower, is exported to the United States. With Canada expected to expand its hydropower capacity in coming years, could some states take advantage of this non-emitting resource to meet goals to reduce carbon emissions?[read more]

NRG Bundles Solar With Water Efficiency in California

May 2, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

Water Efficiency in California

As the state of California finalizes its mandatory cuts in water use for an average of 25 percent for companies like urban water suppliers, new NRG solar customers in the cities of Fresno and San Diego can soon begin to receive a smart sprinkler from Rachio.[read more]

New Hydropower in Developing Markets, Upgrades in the United States

May 1, 2015 by Maria Robinson
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Hydropower Development and Progress

Hydropower is a mature technology that has tapped most of the resources available in developed countries, with the exception of Canada, which continues to eye large hydro projects. Despite this, there are still hydro opportunities available in the United States.[read more]

Nuclear Energy: Fast Reactors Come and Go

May 1, 2015 by Dan Yurman

Amid all the interest in small modular reactors using well known light water technologies, occasionally fast reactor start-ups appear on the technological horizon. Several such start-ups have recently garnered media attention due to their focus on either molten salt or thorium fuel.[read more]

How Much Water Does A Water Leak Waste?

April 25, 2015 by Wego Wise

Water Waste Prevention

Imagine Manhattan under 300 feet of water, not from a flood or rising sea level, but from the 2.1 trillion gallons of water lost from leaky pipes every year. That is nearly 6 billion gallons a day! The majority of leaks are a result of old infrastructure, pressure changes in the water mains, and small household leaks.[read more]

Deepwater Horizon Disaster: Five Years Later

April 22, 2015 by Ripudaman Malhotra

Five years ago the BP Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil well in the Gulf of Mexico burst into flames following a blow out. Eleven workers died in the accident and 11 others were injured. Oil and gas gushed out for months from the broken pipe at the floor of the sea.[read more]

Smart Water Meters Gain Traction in Drought-Ridden California

April 20, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

Water Conservation

When San Francisco’s water meters were coming to the end of their lifespan about six years ago, the city wanted to make sure the next set of devices installed would prove useful for the next 20 years. San Francisco is the largest city in California to make the full switch to smart water meters.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: "This is Not Just a Future Threat"

April 17, 2015 by Edward Dodge

Obama and the Climate Change Threat

President Obama is arguing that climate change is a public health hazard, as the White House launches a new initiative aimed at addressing the impacts a warming planet has on communities. These initiatives are intended to address smog, allergies and the increasing risk of extreme-weather-related injuries.[read more]

Hydropower Losses From California's Drought Cost Ratepayers $1.4 Billion

April 15, 2015 by Katherine Tweed
3

Drought and Hydopower Impacts

The diminished hydropower capacity of California’s dams cost electricity customers a total of $1.4 billion in the past three years, according to a study from the Pacific Institute. When the 2007 to 2009 drought is taken into account, the figure rises to $2.4 billion.[read more]

In the Face of Extreme Drought, Australia (and Possibly Texas) Undoes Best Strategy for Water Conservation: Clean Energy

April 14, 2015 by Kate Zerrenner
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Drought Risk and Clean Energy

Cowboys, frontier grit, accented English, and wild, wide open spaces are just a few of the similarities shared by Texas and Australia. Both places also have an energy-water problem. But, the good news for Texas is that it’s not too late for us to learn from Australia’s mistakes – and a few successes, too.[read more]