How Rising Seas and Coastal Storms Drowned the U.S. Flood Insurance Program

Read the full story at e360.

Sea level rise and more severe storms are overwhelming U.S. coastal communities, causing billions of dollars in damage and essentially bankrupting the federal flood insurance program. Yet rebuilding continues, despite warnings that far more properties will soon be underwater.

Does Wasting Home Heating Make You See (Infra)red?

Read the full post from the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Have you ever wanted x-ray vision, or to see the hidden features of your home? The City of Vancouver has launched a new effort to make energy use more visible to its residents, complete with rainbow-colored images of their homes that show details invisible to the naked eye. Using thermal imaging to show heat loss in roughly 15,000 homes in five neighborhoods, Vancouver aims to help residents uncover wasted energy. How can making invisible aspects of a home visible drive energy savings and economic development?

These Cities Are Replacing The Worst Kind Of Infrastructure With The Best

Read the full story in Fast Company.

In car-dependent Dallas, parking lots are ubiquitous downtown. But one lot will soon be de-paved and turned into a park. Nearby, another parking lot is turning into a temporary urban farm before it also becomes a park. Something similar is happening across the U.S. as cities begin to realize that a slab of asphalt for storing cars isn’t the best use of valuable urban space.

Retailers Lead the Charge toward Bio-Based Packaging

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Retailers, with their increased use of sustainable packaging, are playing a leading role in encouraging consumers to adopt bio-based packaging materials; manufacturers and retailers that adopt biodegradable packaging materials will benefit through cost cuts and tax reductions, according to a Technavio market research analysis.

New and old users of Tipping Point Planner collaborate at Purdue workshop

Read the full story from the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program.

Researchers, federal and state government and non-government officials, students, and representatives from Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan Sea Grants gathered at Purdue University recently to take part in the two-day Tipping Point Planner collaboration workshop.

The web tool uses the latest watershed research and cutting-edge technology to show planners how close their watershed is to known environmental tipping points and what the watershed will look like if land use decisions continue “business as usual.”

A Green Infrastructure Guidebook for City Planners

Read the full story in CityLab.

Ninety-six percent of the country’s population lives in counties where federally declared weather-related disasters have occurred since 2010. Federal programs help mitigate these scenarios: EPA programs study climate change and issue guidelines about combating global warming; FEMA provides disaster assistance to mitigate these effects. But under Trump’s budget plan, these programs stand to lose their funding.

Ninety-six percent of the country’s population lives in counties where federally declared weather-related disasters have occurred since 2010. Federal programs help mitigate these scenarios: EPA programs study climate change and issue guidelines about combating global warming; FEMA provides disaster assistance to mitigate these effects. But under Trump’s budget plan, these programs stand to lose their funding.

Webinar: Water Security and Resiliency

Tue, Apr 25, 2017 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/287664509489298691

Presentation 1: Resiliency Framework and the Route to Resilience Tool (Presented by Jeffrey F. Fencil, EPA’s Office of Water). Maintaining and repairing aging drinking water infrastructure remains a significant challenge for the water sector. Utilities must be able to increase their readiness and resilience to potential all-hazard incidents, and adapt to future hazards that may impact their ability to provide safe and clean drinking water. The Resiliency Framework defines what it means to be a resilient drinking water/wastewater utility and provides a greater sense of cohesion among EPA’s water security products and services. The Route to Resilience (RtoR) Tool, features the framework and is specifically designed to help small- and medium-sized drinking water and wastewater utilities learn more about becoming resilient to all-hazards, such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and contamination incidents. This presentation will introduce the framework and provide an overview of the RtoR Tool.

Presentation 2: Using Hydraulic Modeling to Assess Resilience of Drinking Water Systems to Natural Disasters and Other Hazards (Presented by Dr. Regan Murray, EPA’s Office of Research and Development). Drinking water systems are subject to floods, power outages, extreme winter storms, contamination incidents and other hazards that can disrupt service to customers and damage critical infrastructure. This presentation will demonstrate a new hydraulic modeling tool—the Water Network Tool for Resilience (WNTR)—that will be available to the public later this year. WNTR will help water utilities investigate the resilience of their water systems to a wide range of hazardous scenarios and evaluate emergency response actions and long term resilience‐enhancing strategies. The software estimates potential damages from disaster scenarios; predicts how damage to infrastructure would occur over time; evaluates preparedness strategies; prioritizes response actions; and identifies worse case scenarios, efficient repair strategies, and best practices for maintenance and operations. An application to a small system will be presented.

Archives of previous webinars in the series are available here.