Publication | July 2, 2021

Dying from the Heat

No one wants to be a statistic in a climate disaster—an anonymous entry in a dataset of extreme events. But sometimes things sneak up on you. A couple of weeks ago, during one of the extraordinary and severe heat events striking western North America, I almost suffered from heat stroke.

Publication | June 8, 2021

Stacked Incentives: Co-Funding Water Customer Incentive Programs

Water utilities throughout the United States offer customer incentives to motivate action and foster engagement with their customers. These incentive programs can take many forms, from rebates for high-efficiency fixtures and appliances to technical assistance for installing cisterns and rain gardens.

Blog | March 31, 2021

Biden Infrastructure Plan: Water Components

Earlier today, President Biden announced the first components of his proposed $2 trillion national infrastructure plan to rebuild failing, aging, and outdated water, energy, transportation, and communications systems. While the current information provides only the broadest outlines of his proposals, and the details will have to be worked out in specific legislation to be debated in Congress, it is clearly the most ambitious plan to have been put forward in many years.

Publication | March 4, 2021

Benefit Accounting of Nature-Based Solutions for Watersheds: Guide

Nature-based solutions use or mimic natural processes to meet societal and environmental needs. They can be used to restore, manage, or protect water resources while also increasing biodiversity and providing additional social and economic benefits. Yet there is no standardized method to identify, estimate, and monitor the benefits that nature-based solutions can provide, making it hard to build the case for investments in these solutions.

Blog | January 28, 2021

What Role Should Onsite Water Reuse Play in Silicon Valley Water?

Water systems in most large urban areas like California’s Silicon Valley are linear and highly centralized. Water is cleaned at a central treatment plant, distributed to homes and businesses through a vast and decades-old system of pipes, used once, and then returned through another set of pipes to a wastewater treatment plant, before being discharged into a nearby waterway like the San Francisco Bay.

Publication | January 28, 2021

The Role of Onsite Water Systems in Advancing Water Resilience in Silicon Valley

California’s Silicon Valley faces a host of water challenges. The region’s water and wastewater infrastructure are aging, and in some cases are nearing the end of useful life. Continued growth and development are putting additional strains on the region, and climate change is adding to that burden through sea level rise, more intense storms, and more severe droughts. These challenges present risks but also an opportunity to rethink the design, configuration, and operation of water and wastewater systems.

Publication | December 9, 2020

Water Scarcity Will Increase Risk of Conflict, Says New National Intelligence Report

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 116-92), including the Intelligence Authorization Act of FY2020. Section 6722 of that law required a report be prepared on the national security effects of “global water insecurity” and be submitted within 180 days (by late June 2020) to “the congressional intelligence committees, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.”