Water Policy Program News

Marc Edwards on the Lie Behind the Flint Water Crisis

Marc Edwards, the civil engineering professor who helped to expose the Flint Water Crisis, gave a talk on “Truth-Seeking in an Age of Tribalism: Lessons from the Flint Water Crisis” on April 9. Edwards, a Macarthur Fellow as well as a Presidential Faculty Fellow, was short-listed for Time’s Person of the Year honor in 2016, and received the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility in 2018. Edwards’ talk was the 2018 Ferguson Family Distinguished Lectureship in the Environment and Society, presented annually by the Nicholas School of the Environment, and was co-sponsored by the Duke School of Law, the Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Marc Edwards, Scientific Crusader Who Exposed the Flint Water Crisis to Speak on April 9

Marc Edwards, the civil engineering professor whose investigative science and advocacy helped expose the Flint Water Crisis, will present a free public lecture at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment on Monday, April 9. Edwards’ talk, “Truth-Seeking in an Age of Tribalism: Lessons from the Flint Water Crisis,” will be at 6 p.m. at Love Auditorium in the Levine Science Research Center on Duke’s West Campus. It is the 2018 Ferguson Family Distinguished Lectureship in the Environment and Society. Other sponsors of this year’s Ferguson Lecture include the School of Law, Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Doyle Among the Recipients of 2018 Dean’s Awards

Martin Doyle, director of the Water Policy Program at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, was honored March 28 during the Graduate School's annual Dean's Awards, which recognize outstanding efforts in mentoring, teaching, and creating an inclusive environment for graduate education at Duke. Doyle received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring.

Rivers Run Through Us: Six Questions on the Future of our Waterways

For American Scholar, Martin Doyle, director of the the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Water Policy Program, poses six questions on the future of waterways. Doyle just penned a book The Source: How Rivers Made America and America Remade Its Rivers, documents the complex history of our nation’s waterways, taking into consideration such subjects as politics, ecology, and economics. 

Looking for Lessons along the Colorado River

In a series of stories on the Colorado River, the New Mexico Political Report covered the forging of the Colorado River Compact, quoting Water Policy Program director Martin Doyle's The Source: How Rivers Made America and America Remade Its Rivers. The book describes how, with a view to “limiting the potential for observers and interlopers," then-Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover sequestered Colorado River Commission members at a remote ranch in New Mexico. The ensuing talks, writes Doyle, “were held with only the delegate and advisors (an engineering adviser and a legal adviser) from each state; this approach minimized outside or lobbying during the actual talks and allowed the commissioners to negotiate concessions without immediately infuriating their state interests. These conditions, combined with Hoover’s constant cajoling and needling and prodding, resulted in a compact that hinged on a great compromise.”

Deep in the Grand Canyon, Scientists Struggle to Bring Back the Bugs

A hydroelectric dam disrupted the intricate food web of the Colorado River. Now a ragtag team of researchers and river guides are trying to repair it. In UnDark magazine the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Martin Doyle writes about how deep in the Grand Canyon scientists struggle to bring back the bugs

The Rich History of America’s Rivers

American rivers from the mighty Mississippi on down have changed the way Americans works, play and live. In an interview with WBUR On Point, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Water Policy Program director Martin Doyle discusses that rich history featured in his new book “The Source: How Rivers Made America and America Remade Its Rivers."

Review: Building ‘The Source’ of America’s Cash Flows and Liquid Assets

"Why is it,” Martin Doyle, director of the Water Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and author of the new book "The Source: How Rivers Made America and America Remade Its Rivers" asks, “that sewers are often at the cutting edge in finance?” The question isn’t meant as a slur on the financial industry but as testimony to the oversized but underrated role that waterworks have played in the economic annals of the United States. A Wall Street Journal article reviewing the book offers that throughout history our penchant for big-ticket water projects—canals, dams, waste-treatment plants, the wholesale engineering of rivers—has altered the course of public finance and even shifted the balance of power among federal, state and local governments.

Data Infrastructure Investments Could Increase Effectiveness of Reservoir Management

One of the largest repositories of historic reservoir data in the United States is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Its districts have been amassing data on hundreds of reservoirs for decades, but, like many other water data gathers in the United States, it cannot always use its own information to support broad-scale decision making. In a new report by Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Lauren Patterson and Martin Doyle of the Nicholas Institute and Samantha Kuzma of the World Resources Institute point out that the federalist structure of the Army Corps and other U.S. agencies has often led to wide variation in data management, requiring development of protocols for standardizing and integrating those data. Pointing out that water management transcends political boundaries—requiring data sharing within and between agencies at the scale of watersheds or river basins—they describe the challenges of and opportunities for using the Army Corps’ historic reservoir data to understand how reservoirs are performing as environmental and societal needs change.

3 Ways the Course of Water Sustainability Changed in 2017

In Greenbiz, Will Sarni writes that the word of the year in the world of water is digital. Digital technologies are gaining ground in the water sector and addressing a range of issues. Adoption of digital technologies is accompanied by an increased recognition that access to water data and analytics is essential to better inform public policies and business decisions. He notes that efforts to improve access to water data and actionable information is gaining support, mentioning the "Internet of Water" report by the Aspen Institute and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions that makes this case. 

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