State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

New Dept of Interior Water Strategy

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Secretary of the Interior Salazar

The Department of the Interior Announced today:

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today signed a Secretarial order establishing a new water sustainability strategy for the United States.  Salazar showcased the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART Initiative at a press conference featuring a geospatial presentation on water supply and demand in the high-tech operations center at the Department’s headquarters.The “SMART” in WaterSMART stands for “Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow.”

“The federal government’s existing water policies and programs simply aren’t built for 21st century pressures on water supplies,” Salazar said.  “Population growth.  Climate change.  Rising energy demands.  Environmental needs.  Aging infrastructure.  Risks to drinking water supplies.  Those are just some of the challenges.”

He noted that the 2011 budget proposed by President Obama for the Department of the Interior doubles the current enacted 2010 appropriations for water programs to move the initiative forward.  It includes $72.9 million for the WaterSMART program, which is a total increase of $36.4 million over 2010.”

For more on the new policies read the full Press Release

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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