Eight unbelievable solutions to future water shortages

Read the full story in The Guardian.

It’s estimated that we use 9tn cubic metres of water every year. As the global population grows, it is becoming an increasingly precious resource, with millions forced to walk for more than a mile to collect their daily supply. We investigate the innovative technologies that will help tackle our water crisis in future.

Stream app turns Great Lakes citizens into scientists

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

At the bottom of Chris Lowry’s research project homepage is a bold motto: “We are all scientists.”

It’s a mantra that Lowry, an assistant professor of hydrogeology at the University of Buffalo, follows while seeking to understand how water moving through watersheds changes over time across the Great Lakes region.

He can’t collect data from more than 50 places at once himself. So Lowry is recruiting citizen scientists in Michigan, Wisconsin and New York.

His new phone app, CrowdHydrology, allows anyone to send information on stream depths in specific locations with the swipe of a thumb. It will be unveiled today at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

Infographic: An Astounding Map of Every River in America

Read the full story in Wired.

Nelson Minar didn’t really mean to create a piece of art. When the California-based software engineer began working on All Rivers, a gorgeously detailed look at the waterways in the 48 contiguous states, it was really just a practice in computer nerdery. Minar, a self-described “computer nerd at heart,” simply wanted to create a vector map (a map consisting of Geographic Information System data) using open source data. “The single All Rivers map was just me goofing around to see what it’d look like,” he told Wired.

RFP: Great Lakes Water Levels

The Integrated Assessment Center and Water Center at the Graham Sustainability Institute are proposing an Integrated Assessment on Great Lakes Water Levels.  The purpose of the assessment is to develop information, tools, and partnerships to help decision makers address the challenges and opportunities posed by water level variability. With a focus on Lakes Michigan-Huron and Erie, including the Lake Huron to Lake Erie corridor, the assessment will identify and evaluate environmentally, politically, socially, and economically feasible adaptive actions and policy options.

Refer to the Water Levels IA plan for background information and additional details about the project and approach.

Planning Grant Request for Proposals

To support this work, the Graham Institute will fund up to ten planning grants at a level up to $10,000 each. The planning grant work should focus on the feasibility of conducting an interdisciplinary, place-based analysis of options to respond to water level variability that will contribute to the IA. Planning grants will last for six months and run concurrently between March and August 2015. The schedule is as follows:

  • RFP Release: December 1, 2015
  • Informational Webinar: December 17, 2015
  • Deadline for Letters of Intent: January 6, 2015
  • Deadline for Planning Grant Proposals: February 2, 2015
  • Announcement of Awards: March 2, 2015

For complete details, review the Request for Proposals.

A webinar to explain the purpose of this initiative as well as to answer questions regarding the RFP will be held on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 from 1 to 2 p.m. EST. Click on the Webinar Registration button to register.

For more information, please contact John Callewaert, IA Center Director at (734) 615-3752 or jcallew@umich.edu.

[Via the University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute]

Now Open: FY15 Marine Debris Prevention through Education and Outreach Grant Opportunity

The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce our annual “Marine Debris Prevention through Education and Outreach” Federal Funding Opportunity.

The NOAA MDP seeks to fund projects that will lead to the prevention of marine debris in marine and coastal environments through the implementation of dedicated education and outreach activities. Projects awarded through this grant competition are expected to educate the public about marine debris through proposals including, but not limited to:

  1. encouraging changes in behavior to reduce and address marine debris;
  2. developing and implementing activities to reduce and prevent marine debris working with students, teachers, industries, and the public, and,
  3. engaging the public in active, personal participation (e.g. a small-scale shoreline cleanup with students or other hands-on activities, etc.).

Typical project awards will range from $30,000 – $75,000. NOAA will NOT accept proposals with a budget less than $15,000 or more than $100,000 under this solicitation. The anticipated number of awards ranges from five to twelve.

Eligible applicants include: U.S. institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, commercial (for-profit) organizations, and state, local and tribal governments. Applications from federal agencies or employees of federal agencies will not be considered. International organizations are not eligible.

To download the official Federal Funding Opportunity along with complete eligibility requirements, please visit Grants Online by clicking here: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=270188

The deadline for applications to this funding opportunity is 11:59:59 pm EST on January 15, 2015. Applications must be submitted online via http://www.grants.gov.

For further guidance and applicant assistance with this Federal Funding Opportunity, visit our MDP Funding: Applicant and Grantee Resources Page: http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/about-our-program/applicant-resources