EPA Report Looks at Managing Water Supplies in a Warming World


Image courtesy of Wolfgang Staudt via flickr

Though the EPA has come in for a fair amount of criticism on this site - largely due to its political leanings of late - it goes without saying that its work is tremendously important and that its regular reports, on topics ranging from waste management to air pollution, are well worth the reading. ES&T;'s Naomi Lubick brings us word of a new draft report on the effects of climate change on water management, called "National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change," which provides a valuable insight on its challenges and the potential mitigation strategies we should be considering. The report features a long list of challenges managers will be faced with, including ocean acidification, groundwater variability, unusual precipitation patterns and extreme weather patterns. The 5-year strategy it maps out would place a particular emphasis on more efficient hydroelectric power management and better research and analytical tools to promote a holistic, watershed approach to resource management.

The 5 core goals it wants local and federal managers to focus on are:

1. Water Program Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases: Use core water programs
to contribute to greenhouse gas mitigation

2. Water Program Adaptation to Climate Change: Adapt implementation of
core water programs to maintain and improve program effectiveness in the context of a
changing climate and assist States and communities in this effort.

3. Climate Change Research Related to Water: Strengthen the link between
EPA water programs and climate change research.

4. Water Program Education on Climate Change: Educate water program
professionals and stakeholders on climate change impacts on water resources and
water programs.

5. Water Program Management of Climate Change: Establish the
management capability within the National Water Program to engage climate change
challenges on a sustained basis.

While most of these goals probably seem fairly common-sensical (as they are), each is intended to serve as more of an overarching objective - and is fully fleshed out in the report's later sections. Besides, when reading these reports, it's important to remember that they are primarily targeted to an audience of legislators - many of which (evidently) lack the proper background to fully grasp the more complex issues at hand.

Via ::ES&T;: Preparing water supplies for climate change (news website)

See also: ::A New Era Of Water Conservation, ::Don't You Dare Touch Our Water

Tags: EPA