Groundwater is often a "transboundary" resource, shared by many groups of people across town, county, state, and international boundaries. Changes in groundwater resources can create unique challenges requiring high levels of cooperation and innovation amongst stakeholder groups, from individuals to state and federal government.
The High Plains Aquifer (HPA), which spans eight states from South Dakota to Texas, is overlain by about 20 percent of the nation’s irrigated agricultural land, and provides about 30 percent of the groundwater used for irrigation in the country according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Work by the Kansas Geological Survey indicates that some parts of the aquifer are already effectively exhausted for agricultural purposes; some parts are estimated to have a lifespan of less than 25 years; and other areas remain generally unaffected (Buchanan et al., 2015).
The 2016 Critical Issues Forum was a 1-½ day meeting covering multiple aspects of groundwater depletion in the High Plains. Presentations covered the current state of the High Plains Aquifer and water usage from scientific, legal, regulatory, economic, and social perspectives. State-specific perspectives were provided from Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, and Oklahoma, and a variety of issues were discussed surrounding communication, negotiation, policy, and the influence of climate change. Break-out sessions and participant discussions identified lessons learned and best practices from the High Plains Aquifer experience that might apply to other regions facing changes in the Earth system.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework provides an interactive map of biomass production potential across the United States (at the time of writing, maps do not cover Alaska and Hawaii). The aim is to show how much biomass may be available for bioenergy production from the present day through to the year 2040.
The U.S. Geological Survey's Water On The Go app provides real-time information on stream flows, lake levels, and rainfall in Texas. The app automatically finds data near your current location (or any chosen location in Texas) for rapid access to water information. Special icons indicate rapidly rising streams and lakes or heavy rain that may pose a flood risk.
Users can click on individual sites for current water levels, a graph of levels in recent days, and links to more data and information about the site.
AGI is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Peter T. Flawn, AGI's President from 1987 to 1988. A distinguished geoscientist and scholar, Flawn served twice as president of the University of Texas at Austin, and is remembered for his transformative leadership. He died on May 7, 2017, at age 91.
Coastal hazards are a widespread challenge that cost millions (and sometimes billions) of dollars in the U.S. every year due to property loss and spending on mitigation measures. Based on the most recent U.S. Census, over 39% of the U.S. population lives in areas that may undergo significant coastal flooding during a 100-year flood event1. Additionally, six of the ten most expensive weather-related disasters in U.S. history have been caused by coastal storms1,2. Reducing risk and responding to coastal hazards is an ongoing challenge that relies on close coordination and cooperation between geoscientists, coastal planners, emergency managers, and communities at all levels.
An introductory talk and three case studies from around the U.S. cover coastal storm and erosion hazards in the U.S., as well as examples of coastal hazard planning from the Pacific, Gulf, and Atlantic coasts, with a focus on how geoscience informs planning at all levels. Speakers from California, Texas, and Georgia discuss the impacts of coastal storms and erosion, tools used for coastal hazard mitigation planning in their regions, and examples of community engagement and coordination.
Webinar Co-Sponsors: American Institute of Professional Geologists; American Meteorological Society; Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists; Consortium for Ocean Leadership; Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society; Federal Emergency Management Agency; Geological Society of America; Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers; International Association of Emergency Managers; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; U.S. Geological Survey.
Our Coast, Our Future Project website: sea level rise and storm scenarios for north-central California coast, San Francisco Bay, and Southern California, including an interactive viewer that shows socioeconomic impacts, flooding, and waves and currents.
The National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) Public Viewer from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration allows users to view pipelines and related information by individual county for the entire United States. The map includes: