The American Society of Civil Engineers has given Florida a C grade for wastewater and stormwater infrastructure on its annual report card, with an overall C grade for all infrastructure across 14 sectors. "Several rising grades have resulted from focused investment in areas like coastal areas, energy and ports, or where FDOT, FDEP, and other local agencies are pushing smart investment solutions in roadways and stormwater systems," the report says.
The budget reconciliation bill under consideration in Congress contains $30 billion for lead service line replacement projects, and lawmakers must ensure that those funds are included in the final measure, writes Donald Jodrey of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. "This funding, along with the $15 billion included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, will help us meet President Biden's goal of replacing all lead service lines nationally," Jodrey writes.
Many communities in Louisiana are having difficulty applying for a share of $300 million designated by the state Legislature for water infrastructure improvements. The application process requires that communities submit an engineer-provided cost estimate, and only 66 complete applications have been filed so far.
During recent years, the latest trends and technologies in stormwater management have become a hallmark of the WEFTEC exhibition and technical program. WEFTEC 2021 in Chicago was no different, featuring a diverse collection of seminars, products and perspectives carefully tailored to the needs of stormwater professionals.
As water shortages continue to get worse, efforts are underway to improve sanitation and access to clean water in many parts of the world. This article highlights six people working to improve water access, including Alison Wedgwood, whose startup EWater Services offers pay-as-you-go, cellphone-based access to village water dispensers.
Many water wells in Africa fail due to a lack of maintenance and difficulty diagnosing problems, but Well Beyond is trying to change that with an app that lets users diagnose and repair issues to prevent failure. "We want to get this into as many hands as possible," co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Kathryn Bergmann says.
Deploying new solutions to fight the food waste problem has become top of mind for many food retailers and suppliers, and has thrust the efforts of companies such as iFoodDS and Apeel into the spotlight. Both are focused on using technology to identify food that may not meet retail standards but could be used by wholesalers or food banks instead of being thrown away.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory came to an unintended breakthrough when its microgrid-based Flatirons Campus lost power in 2020. The facility lacked a microgrid central controller, but NREL found it was able to re-energize the system by simply programming each device to autonomously respond to changes and self-balance. An NREL team has been testing the communication-less approach since, and has determined it could be scaled to larger grid systems.
Many Americans are already concerned about climate change, but Democrats and climate advocates may be able to get more people on board -- and ensure key bills with climate provisions pass -- by changing the way they talk about the issue, say experts. Instead, advocates could talk about issues that conservative Americans identify with, such as climate solutions as a driver for job creation, economic investment and environmental benefits.
The Financial Times has released a handy dashboard ahead of COP26 that compares the emissions, climate pledges and progress of every Paris Agreement signatory -- all 193. You can use the tool to take a deep dive into every country's climate work, but keep in mind a new report from the UN Environment Program found current pledges, including recently updated ones, aren't enough to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
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