Water Policy Program News

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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Martin Doyle Named Fellow of Interior Department's Natural Resources Investment Center

The U.S. Department of the Interior has appointed Martin Doyle as Senior Conservation Finance Fellow at the Department’s new Natural Resources Investment Center (NRIC). Doyle is one of the nation’s top experts on water markets and water infrastructure finance. He is a faculty member at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and director of the Water Policy Program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy SolutionsHis appointment as NRIC’s inaugural Senior Conservation Finance Fellow will begin in January.

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Our Impact: The Creeping Disaster That Led to Water Law

Learn about how the Nicholas Institute's recommendations on water supply and ecological flow planning became law in North Carolina.

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Water and Big Data: 21st Century Solution to 21st Century Droughts

In the Contra Costa Times, the Nicholas Institute's Lauren Patterson and Martin Doyle write that California should be taking the lead in water management—much like it's led on climate issues—by using smart water metering, sensors and data analytics for utilities. They say that investing in water metering and data analytics could help California better manage the water it has in times of drought and beyond.

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Drinking from the Cloud

In a blog in The Hill, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions’ Julie DeMeester and Martin Doyle report that outdated systems for monitoring drinking water, combined with aging infrastructure, cause us to lose approximately 14 percent of drinking water annually. “This is water that has been stored, pumped, treated and distributed, at great cost, but generates no revenue for the utility,” the researchers said. The solution?

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NC Panel OKs Rules Needed for Fracking Permits

After 18 months of work and more than 200,000 public comments, a state energy panel on Friday approved a comprehensive list of regulations for companies that want fracking permits to drill for and collect natural gas in North Carolina. Amy Pickle, director of the State Policy Program, comments.

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Major Vote Could Allow NC To Issue Fracking Permits In Spring 2015

The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission will vote Friday, Nov. 14, on whether to pass more than 120 rules designed to govern natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Based on more than 217,000 comments submitted by the public, the final rules have been modified to meet the interests of North Carolinians, says Amy Pickle, who chairs the commission and serves as director of the State Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

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