News - Water Policy

Ashley Ward joins 97.9 The Hill’s "News on the Hill" program every other Thursday to comment on the latest climate news.

As Florida counties eye already-conserved public lands to offset impacts to urban and suburban wetlands, a blog post from the Environmental Policy Innovation Center outlines arguments for putting offsets on public lands and presents counterarguments. The blog post also cites a 2020 Nicholas Institute report to detail safeguards that can be put in place when public lands have to be used for mitigation.

A peer-reviewed analysis led by Duke University researchers suggest municipal bond markets are mispricing climate and race risk at a large scale. Lead author Erika Smull, a 2022 Ph.D. graduate of the Nicholas School of the Environment, told ImpactAlpha the result is Black communities are less likely to be able to invest in climate resilience upgrades.

The U.S. municipal bond market does not consider physical climate risks when deciding where to invest, but it generally requires higher interest payments from predominantly Black communities seeking to borrow, according to a new analysis.

Roughly a quarter of households in Jackson, Miss., are challenged by unaffordable water services amid an ongoing water crisis. Lauren Patterson and Sophia Bryson explore trends driving water unaffordability in Jackson and other communities and discuss potential ways forward in an op-ed for The Clarion-Ledger.

In 787 communities served by the United States’ largest utilities, 17 percent of households (28.3 million people) spend more than one day each month working to pay for water services and sanitation services, according to a new analysis by researchers at Duke University.

Public agencies must modernize their water data infrastructure to get a more accurate picture of the water resources they manage. Ashley Ward discusses a new report on a program that addresses two main aspects of water data modernization: technology adoption and an organizational and cultural evolution in how data are managed, shared, and deployed for decision-making.

Martin Doyle spoke with Georgia Public Broadcasting about how President Jimmy Carter's move to preserve the Flint River in the 1970s changed the way federal dam projects are funded.

Over 50 percent of US dams were built before 1970. As they age, their safety liabilities increase and effectiveness decreases. A new federal financing program could help with dam rehabilitation—but maximizing the program’s potential calls for congressional action, argue Nicholas Institute expert Martin Doyle and coauthor John Ryan in a commentary at The Hill.

For decades, the Clean Water Act – passed this week in 1972 – has limited pollution in America’s waterways and set water quality standards across the country. Its passage required the work of activists paired with bipartisan support.