Water Projects

Environmental Flows

Water withdrawals for drinking water or irrigation, or how an upstream dam is managed can all be the driving factors for whether or not a river has water in it. The study of “environmental flows,” a new approach to water management, is an area the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions partnering with state agencies and nonprofits to explore. 

Hydraulic Fracturing

Advances in horizontal and hydraulic fracturing technologies have enable greater access to shale gas formations deep in the earth, securing a role for natural gas in the nation’s clean energy future. Research by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions looks more closely at water and wasterwater used in the hydraulic fracturing process.

Reservoir Reallocation

Because much of the United States relies on reservoirs for hydropower, water supply, and protection from floods, it is critical to rethink how to manage reservoirs in a non-stationary world. The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions is developing a database and providing analysis for how federal agencies were expected to operate compared to how they are actually operating, and if the legislative window provides enough flexibility to respond quickly to changing climates.

Water Use on Military Bases

Climate change will significantly affect the sustainability of water supplies in the coming decades. The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions is looking to better understand how behavior can influence water use and supplies by studying habits of military base occupants.  

Smart Water Grid Technology

Infrastructure to conserve water resources is essential as the population grows and the needs for water increase. The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions is exploring how a smart grid for water may help address water scarcity. 

2014 Aspen-Nicholas Water Forum

This invite-only forum will bring together a select group of business, utility, finance, and emerging technology executives; federal, state, and local policy makers and other thought leaders in a roundtable setting for an intentional, cross-sector and forward-thinking dialogue focused on the transformative change needed in U.S. water resource management. The forum is meant to be additive to the discussions already underway related to securing a sustainable water future.

Water Quality

Millions in Ethiopia’s Rift Valley are exposed to naturally occurring contaminants such as fluoride and arsenic each year. As part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions is studying water quality, in particular the impact of long-term exposure to contaminants such as fluoride, in the region’s groundwater.

Silent Tsunami

One of the Nichols Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions first projects was to work with the Aspen Institute to create the Silent Tsunami report—providing a supporting impetus for the creation of the Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act that provides funding for water projects in the developing world. The Nicholas Institute has maintained a consistent dialogue with the legislative and executive branches about the implementation of that Act and related programs.