Water Policy Program News

U.N. Climate Deal: Are we Done?

In the largest ever single-day turn-out for a signing ceremony, more than 170 governments on April 22 signed the Paris Agreement, which has a goal of limiting average surface temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius. Voice of America asked experts if the agreement solves climate change globally. Brian Murray, director of the Environmental Economics Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, says the real test is “whether the countries will actually take action."In the largest ever single-day turn-out for a signing ceremony, more than 170 governments on April 22 signed the Paris Agreement, which has a goal of limiting average surface temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius. Voice of America asked experts if the agreement solves climate change globally. Brian Murray, director of the Environmental Economics Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, says the real test is “whether the countries will actually take action."

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Water for Food Institute Names New Director

Peter McCornick, a senior fellow at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and an internationally recognized expert in sustainable water management, will be become executive director of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute (WFI) at the University of Nebraska, September 1. McCornick has led research and development efforts on water, agriculture, and the environment in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States, and focuses on water and food security, the water-food-energy nexus, water reuse, irrigation management, and water and climate adaptation.

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McCornick Named Water for Food Executive Director

Peter G. McCornick, a senior fellow (non-resident) at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and deputy director general for the International Water Management Institute in Colombo, Sri Lanka, has been named executive director of The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute (WFI) at the University of Nebraska. McCornick said that WFI “is truly making a difference in improving water and food security for generations to come. I look forward to working with the University of Nebraska leaders, faculty and staff, as well as its many partners in the U.S. and internationally, to advance the institute’s achievements and impact.”

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$2B in Private Investment, New Interior Center Chief Announced ($)

The Interior Department named the first leader of its new Natural Resource Investment Center (NRIC), an organization created to promote habitat conservation, water conservation and water infrastructure. Also working at the center is Interior's Senior Conservation Finance Fellow Martin Doyle, who is on leave from his position as director of the Water Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University.

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Interior Department Names Jeff Klein Executive Director of Natural Resource Investment Center

Florida Water Daily shares the Interior Department's announcement about the new role of Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Water Policy Program Director Martin Doyle. He's now serving as senior conservation finance fellow at the Natural Resource Investment Center.

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Unbundling Water Rights: Pilot Program Anticipated in Nevada's Diamond Valley

The Water Report features Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions visiting fellow Mike Young's unbundling water rights concept, which builds on lessons from Australia’s search for a water rights and management framework and applies them to the western United States. It details pilot projects in the Diamond Valley and Humboldt Basin in Nevada that could transition from the present Western Water Law Prior Appropriation Doctrine—where the earliest established rights to use water have prioritized access to available water supply—to a system where components of those rights are separated into marketable instruments, including shares.

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Does Coal or Gas use More Water? It's Complicated ($)

Switching from coal- to gas-fired power reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but the transition's net effect on water consumption is a more complicated calculation, according to a working paper from Duke and Harvard universities. EnergyWire reports that Pennsylvania's coal-to-gas conversion resulted in an annual 2.6 to 8.4 percent increase in water use across the state. On a local level, though, the net effect was tied to available natural gas resources and pre-existing power-generating infrastructure.

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Duke Kunshan to Offer New Professional Degree in Environmental Policy

Duke Kunshan University will offer a new international master’s degree in environmental policy (IMEP) beginning in the fall of 2017. The four-semester, 16-course program is designed to meet the growing global need for leaders who are versed in both Chinese and international environmental issues and policies. Billy Pizer of the Sanford School and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutionsis among the faculty members that spearheaded the program’s creation.

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As Water Use in Gas Extraction Grows,Use in Coal Extraction Declines

A new study co-authored by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and the University of Calgary provides the first comprehensive representation of changing water consumption patterns associated with fuel extraction and power generation, the Resources for the Future blog reports.

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Coal-to-Gas Transition Alters Pennsylvania Water Consumption

Extraction of coal and natural gas and power generation from both fuels contributed to a yearly 2.6 to 8.4 percent increase in water consumption in Pennsylvania during the early stages of the coal-to-gas transition from 2009 to 2012. However, impacts varied across the state as some areas experienced no change or large decreases in water consumption, according to a new working paper examining the water implications of Pennsylvania’s energy extraction and generation choices.

 

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