Open AccessArticle
Microwave-Assisted Extraction and Physicochemical Evaluation of Oil from Hevea brasiliensis Seeds
Resources 2018, 7(2), 28; doi:10.3390/resources7020028 -
Abstract
The rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is exploited mainly for latex in view of its economic importance. However, one of its auxiliary products, the rubber seed, does not find any major applications, and hence, even the natural production of seeds itself remains
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The rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is exploited mainly for latex in view of its economic importance. However, one of its auxiliary products, the rubber seed, does not find any major applications, and hence, even the natural production of seeds itself remains underutilized. In this study, microwave-assisted Soxhlet extraction is used as a green alternative to extract the oil from seeds at a reaction time of 90 min and microwave power of 300 W. The objective of the study is to evaluate the effects of the processing conditions, including drying time, temperature, solid–solvent ratio, and extraction solvent, on the yield of rubber seed oil. Moreover, the microwave-assisted aqueous extraction (MAAE) under acidic conditions is also investigated. Based on the results, n-hexane gave the best yield at an optimized 1:20 seed–hexane ratio at 72 °C compared with the conventional Soxhlet method and the acidic MAAE. Furthermore, the chemical characteristics of the oil showed a high value of free fatty acids (% FFA) (1.15–7.61%) and an iodine value (IV) that ranges from 100–150. As a semi-drying oil, rubber seed oil (RSO) can be used as an ingredient for surface coating and in the formulation of products where the presence of unsaturation is important. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of an Innovative and Sustainable Model for Integrating River Maintenance with Energy Production from Residual Biomass
Resources 2018, 7(2), 27; doi:10.3390/resources7020027 -
Abstract
This study aims to develop an innovative model for managing territory maintenance in which the productive function is linked with the protective one and that integrates environmental and economic development aspects, combining the energetic valorization with an effective territory maintenance program. The strong
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This study aims to develop an innovative model for managing territory maintenance in which the productive function is linked with the protective one and that integrates environmental and economic development aspects, combining the energetic valorization with an effective territory maintenance program. The strong innovation consists in the creation of an agro-energy environment chain based on the maintenance of river basins and small waterways made by single farmers or associations that will use residual biomass to produce electrical and thermal bio-energy. The maintenance activities include the control of aquatic weeds, grass cutting on river banks, and tree/bush management. If left unmanaged, they can block the flow of watercourses and increase the risk of flooding. The implementation of this virtuous model to the rivers maintenance aims to provide management and conservation means based on the territory characteristics. In fact, the new model has been applied to an existing site in the Marche region (Italy) located near a river characterized by a poor state of maintenance. A real commercial system for residual biomass exploitation was chosen, and both the technical and economic feasibility of the model implementation have been demonstrated. Full article
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Open AccessShort Note
Ecological Impact of Forest Fires and Subsequent Restoration in Chile
Resources 2018, 7(2), 26; doi:10.3390/resources7020026 -
Abstract
This note analyzes the effects forest fires in Chile have on vegetation and subsequent ecological restoration. We analyze why forest fires have been a main factor that affects the environment and causes the ecosystem to deteriorate, leading to loss of native forests, species
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This note analyzes the effects forest fires in Chile have on vegetation and subsequent ecological restoration. We analyze why forest fires have been a main factor that affects the environment and causes the ecosystem to deteriorate, leading to loss of native forests, species extinction, damage to the urban population, and others. The data examined are derived from fire hotspots in Chile’s central and central-south zones (3300 S–4157 S) between 1985 and 2017. We also analyze some key aspects for restoration priorities such as studying affected areas and posterior consequences. Finally, we evaluate actions the country has already taken, and propose further appropriate preventive and restoration measures. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial
New Water Regimes: An Editorial
Resources 2018, 7(2), 25; doi:10.3390/resources7020025 -
Abstract
This editorial is an introduction to the special issue of Resources on New Water Regimes. The special issue explores legal geographies of water resource management with the dual goals of providing critiques of existing water management practices as well as exploring potential alternatives.
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This editorial is an introduction to the special issue of Resources on New Water Regimes. The special issue explores legal geographies of water resource management with the dual goals of providing critiques of existing water management practices as well as exploring potential alternatives. The papers in the special issue draw from numerous theoretical perspectives, including decolonial and post-anthropocentric approaches to water governance; social and environmental justice in water management; and understanding legal ecologies. A variety of themes of water governance are addressed, including water allocation, groundwater management, collaborative governance, drought planning, and water quality. The papers describe and analyze water issues and new ideas in multiple countries, including Australia, Ecuador, New Zealand, India, and the United States. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Building Robust Housing Sector Policy Using the Ecological Footprint
Resources 2018, 7(2), 24; doi:10.3390/resources7020024 -
Abstract
The vulnerability of the urban residential sector is likely to increase without the mitigation of growing household Ecological Footprints (energy demand, CO2 emissions, and demand for land). Analysis comparing the effectiveness and robustness of policy to mitigate the size of the housing
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The vulnerability of the urban residential sector is likely to increase without the mitigation of growing household Ecological Footprints (energy demand, CO2 emissions, and demand for land). Analysis comparing the effectiveness and robustness of policy to mitigate the size of the housing Ecological Footprint has been limited. Here, we investigate three mitigation options: (1) reducing housing floor area, (2) improving the building envelope efficiency, and (3) reducing the carbon intensity of the electricity sector. We model the urban residential Ecological Footprint for a sub-national case study in Australia but analyse the results in the global context. We find that all three mitigation options reduce the Ecological Footprint. The success of policy to reduce household energy demand and land requirements is somewhat dependent on uncertain trajectories of future global population, affluence, and technological progress (together, global uncertainty). Carbon emissions reductions, however, are robust to such global uncertainty. By reducing the Ecological Footprint of the urban residential housing sector we see a reduction in its vulnerability to future global uncertainty, global carbon price, urban sprawl, and future energy shortages. Over the long term, such policy implementation can also be highly cost effective. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Review on Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, and Perceptions of New Zealand’s Mangroves: Can We Make Informed Decisions about Their Removal?
Resources 2018, 7(1), 23; doi:10.3390/resources7010023 -
Abstract
Mangrove cover is increasing in estuaries and harbours in many areas on North Island, New Zealand. The expansion of mangroves has been attributed to anthropogenic land-use change, including urbanisation and conversion of land to agriculture. Rapid expansion of mangroves in the coastal landscape
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Mangrove cover is increasing in estuaries and harbours in many areas on North Island, New Zealand. The expansion of mangroves has been attributed to anthropogenic land-use change, including urbanisation and conversion of land to agriculture. Rapid expansion of mangroves in the coastal landscape has created discord in local communities over their importance in terms of the services they deliver to both wildlife and people. Some community groups have been advocates for the large-scale removal of mangrove habitat, whilst other local residents oppose this removal. This review paper investigated and discussed pertinent biodiversity and ecosystem services studies based in New Zealand mangroves from 1950 to 2017. Results showed that the majority of biodiversity studies have targeted particular species or groups of organisms, with a focus on benthic invertebrate communities. Deficits remain in our knowledge of this expanding forest and shrub ecosystem, notably the terrestrial component of biodiversity, species community-shifts with landscape fragmentation, and associated cultural values. It is recommended that broader species assessments and a longer-term approach be applied to biodiversity monitoring in mangroves, coupled with Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and western science for holistic management of this coastal ecosystem. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
From Fragmented to Joint Responsibilities: Barriers and Opportunities for Adaptive Water Quality Governance in California’s Urban-Agricultural Interface
Resources 2018, 7(1), 22; doi:10.3390/resources7010022 -
Abstract
California is facing a critical water supply and water quality crisis, necessitating a clear shift in the way water resources are managed. This study assesses the effectiveness of water law and policy in the urban-agricultural interface, where the two discharge into common waterways
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California is facing a critical water supply and water quality crisis, necessitating a clear shift in the way water resources are managed. This study assesses the effectiveness of water law and policy in the urban-agricultural interface, where the two discharge into common waterways but have different regulatory requirements. A case study from one of California’s most productive agricultural regions, the Salinas Valley, explores the complexities and inadequacies of current water law in the interface, as well as promising integrated water management schemes. The article’s findings are based on archival research, extensive document review and 15 in-depth interviews with key stakeholders. Findings suggest that local, state and federal water policy is severely fragmented, providing little incentive for the multitude of water entities to collaborate on multi-benefit projects and resulting in unsuccessful water quality improvements. There is a strong need for a more integrated policy approach that bridges different types of dischargers (agricultural and urban), water quality and water quantity issues and also incorporates land uses into policy decision making. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Assessment of Airport Sustainability, Part 1—Waste Management at Copenhagen Airport
Resources 2018, 7(1), 21; doi:10.3390/resources7010021 -
Abstract
Airports play a vital role in the air transport industry value chain, acting as the interface point between the air and surface transport modes. However, substantial volumes of waste are produced as a by-product of the actors’ operations. Waste management is therefore becoming
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Airports play a vital role in the air transport industry value chain, acting as the interface point between the air and surface transport modes. However, substantial volumes of waste are produced as a by-product of the actors’ operations. Waste management is therefore becoming especially important to airports. Using a qualitative and quantitative case study research approach, this paper has examined the waste management strategies and systems at Copenhagen Airport, Scandinavia’s major air traffic hub, from 1999 to 2016. The two major sources of waste at Copenhagen Airport are the waste generated from aircraft serving the airport and the waste arising from ground activities undertaken in the land and airside precincts. The growth in passengers and aircraft movements has had a concomitant impact on the volume of waste generated. Swept waste and sludge are processed by an external provider. Waste generated in the passenger terminals and the airport operator’s facilities is handled at a central container station, where it is sorted for incineration, recycling or for landfill. The environmental impact of the waste produced at the airport is mitigated through the recycling of waste wherever possible. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Properties and Beneficial Uses of (Bio)Chars, with Special Attention to Products from Sewage Sludge Pyrolysis
Resources 2018, 7(1), 20; doi:10.3390/resources7010020 -
Abstract
Residual sludge disposal costs may constitute up to, and sometimes above, 50% of the total cost of operation of a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and contribute approximately 40% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with its operation. Traditionally, wastewater sludges are
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Residual sludge disposal costs may constitute up to, and sometimes above, 50% of the total cost of operation of a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and contribute approximately 40% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with its operation. Traditionally, wastewater sludges are processed for: (a) reduction of total weight and volume to facilitate their transfer and subsequent treatments; (b) stabilization of contained organic material and destruction of pathogenic microorganisms, elimination of noxious odors, and reduction of putrefaction potential and, at an increasing degree; (c) value addition by developing economically viable recovery of energy and residual constituents. Among several other processes, pyrolysis of sludge biomass is being experimented with by some researchers. From the process, oil with composition not dissimilar to that of biodiesels, syngas, and a solid residue can be obtained. While the advantage of obtaining sludge-derived liquid and gaseous fuels is obvious to most, the solid residue from the process, or char (also indicated as biochar by many), may also have several useful, initially unexpected applications. Recently, the char fraction is getting attention from the scientific community due to its potential to improve agricultural soils’ productivity, remediate contaminated soils, and supposed, possible mitigation effects on climate change. This paper first discusses sludge-pyrolysis-derived char production fundamentals (including relationships between char, bio-oil, and syngas fractions in different process operating conditions, general char properties, and possible beneficial uses). Then, based on current authors’ experiments with microwave-assisted sludge pyrolysis aimed at maximization of liquid fuel extraction, evaluate specific produced char characteristics and production to define its properties and most appropriate beneficial use applications in this type of setting. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Land Consolidation Associations and the Management of Territories in Harsh Italian Environments: A Review
Resources 2018, 7(1), 19; doi:10.3390/resources7010019 -
Abstract
Land fragmentation is a phenomenon that reduces the mechanical management of agricultural and grazing lands and, consequently, leads to the abandonment of agricultural practices in harsh environments. It puts the agricultural and/or agro-pastoral businesses in a difficult situation as they have small surfaces
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Land fragmentation is a phenomenon that reduces the mechanical management of agricultural and grazing lands and, consequently, leads to the abandonment of agricultural practices in harsh environments. It puts the agricultural and/or agro-pastoral businesses in a difficult situation as they have small surfaces to manage that do not allow for sufficient profit. Some worldwide land consolidation initiatives have been set up to reduce this phenomenon, such as land funds. In this context, this paper is dedicated to an Italian approach, which can be carried over to other realities, aimed at safeguarding and managing territories in harsh environments. This approach, known as the “Associazione Fondiaria (ASFO)”, which can be roughly translated as “land consolidation association”, consolidates small portions of abandoned land in a functional manner. Indeed, a land consolidation association not only stimulates new entrepreneurial agricultural activities, but is also able to create employment in depressed areas. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis was used to evaluate ASFOs, and their peculiarities were discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Potential Benefits of Introducing Informal Recyclers and Organic Waste Recovery to a Current Waste Management System: The Case Study of Santiago de Chile
Resources 2018, 7(1), 18; doi:10.3390/resources7010018 -
Abstract
Chile has experienced rapid economic growth in recent decades. However, this economic growth has been accompanied by a huge increase in waste generation. Although the country has historically put emphasis on appropriate final disposal of waste through landfill, the environmental problems generated by
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Chile has experienced rapid economic growth in recent decades. However, this economic growth has been accompanied by a huge increase in waste generation. Although the country has historically put emphasis on appropriate final disposal of waste through landfill, the environmental problems generated by this activity have shown that it is necessary to improve the national solid waste management approach. Santiago, the capital of Chile, generates about 43% of the national solid waste. A study conducted by the Ministry of the Environment in 2011 found that 14% of the waste generated in the capital is recycled, mostly thanks to local campaigns and collection by the informal sector (scavengers). While in 2009 the government set a target to recycle 25% of municipal inorganic waste by 2020, there is no information on the implementation process to reach this target. Most importantly, the law has not established specific recycling rates for target materials, and, has not taken into consideration organic waste recovery, which accounts for 48% of the total waste stream. In order to meet the government target and at the same time promote organic waste recovery, this study proposes and evaluates the environmental impacts of different viable alternatives for municipal solid waste collection, treatment and recovery by using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The proposed scenarios range from the current situation to the introduction of organic waste recovery and the inclusion of informal recyclers in the collection process. By considering the investment and treatment costs of each alternative, the study identifies the most effective scenario in terms of avoided pollutants per cost ratio. Finally, the study analyzes the feasibility of the implementation of the selected scenario by indicating benefits and challenges. The results of the scenario evaluation suggest that the scenario with the highest recovery of inorganic and organic materials, coupled with the participation of the informal collectors, will have a positive impact not only in terms of meeting and surpassing the government goal, but also in the reduction of CO2eq emissions. This scenario can reduce by approximately 3.5% the national CO2eq generated, with a cost of $14.1/ton. Moreover, the potential reductions of CH4 account for 8.5% of the national CH4 emissions and 24.5% of the national waste sector CH4 emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Global Projection of Lead-Zinc Supply from Known Resources
Resources 2018, 7(1), 17; doi:10.3390/resources7010017 -
Abstract
Lead and zinc are used extensively in the construction and automotive industries, and require sustainable supply. In order to understand the future availability of lead and zinc, we have projected global supplies on a country-by-country basis from a detailed global assessment of mineral
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Lead and zinc are used extensively in the construction and automotive industries, and require sustainable supply. In order to understand the future availability of lead and zinc, we have projected global supplies on a country-by-country basis from a detailed global assessment of mineral resources for 2013. The model GeRS-DeMo was used to create projections of lead and zinc production from ores, as well as recycling for lead. Our modelling suggests that lead and zinc production from known resources is set to peak within 15 years (lead 2025, zinc 2031). For lead, the total supply declines relatively slowly post peak due to recycling. If additional resources are found, these peaks would shift further into the future. These results suggest that lead and zinc consumers will need to plan for the future, potentially by: seeking alternative supplies (e.g., mine tailings, smelter/refinery slags); obtaining additional value from critical metals contained in lead-zinc ore deposits to counter lower grade ores; identifying potential substitutes; redesigning their products; or by contributing to the development of recycling industries. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Recognition of Barkandji Water Rights in Australian Settler-Colonial Water Regimes
Resources 2018, 7(1), 16; doi:10.3390/resources7010016 -
Abstract
The passage of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) brought with it much anticipation—though in reality, quite limited means—for recognizing and protecting Aboriginal peoples’ rights to land and water across Australia. A further decade passed before national and State water policy acknowledged Aboriginal
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The passage of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) brought with it much anticipation—though in reality, quite limited means—for recognizing and protecting Aboriginal peoples’ rights to land and water across Australia. A further decade passed before national and State water policy acknowledged Aboriginal water rights and interests. In 2015, the native title rights of the Barkandji Aboriginal People in the Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) were recognized after an eighteen-year legal case. This legal recognition represents a significant outcome for the Barkandji People because water and, more specifically, the Darling River, or Barka, is central to their existence. However, the Barkandji confront ongoing struggles to have their common law rights recognized and accommodated within Australian water governance regimes. Informed by literature relating to the politics of recognition, we examine the outcomes of government attempts at Indigenous recognition through four Australian water regimes: national water policy; native title law; NSW water legislation; and NSW water allocation planning. Drawing from the Barkandji’s experiences in engaging with water regimes, we analyze and characterize the outcomes of these recognition attempts broadly as ‘misrecognition’ and ‘non-recognition’, and describe the associated implications for Aboriginal peoples. These manifestations of colonial power relations, whether intended or not, undermine the legitimacy of state water regimes because they fail to generate recognition of, and respect for, Aboriginal water rights and to redress historical legacies of exclusion and discrimination in access to water. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Vital Minimum Amount of Drinking Water Required in Ecuador
Resources 2018, 7(1), 15; doi:10.3390/resources7010015 -
Abstract
In 2017, the government of Ecuador established the minimum quantity of water required to be provided for free by drinking water utilities. Ecuador recognized the access to water as a fundamental human right because it guarantees the good living, known as “Sumak kawsay”,
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In 2017, the government of Ecuador established the minimum quantity of water required to be provided for free by drinking water utilities. Ecuador recognized the access to water as a fundamental human right because it guarantees the good living, known as “Sumak kawsay”, an indigenous Andean concept, in the Ecuadorian Constitution. This represents a novel approach to water rights in the world, as it is the first attempt to establish a minimum quantity of water under a constitutional guarantee by legislation, rather than regulation or judicial decision. However, this novel legislative approach raises the question of how this minimum amount of free water will impact the most vulnerable members of the Ecuadorian community. This paper provides the results of the first comprehensive research of the minimum required water provision in Ecuador. In order to measure the impact on the income of households, we built a methodology integrating: doctrinaire analyses, normative studies, and economic analyses. According to the Ecuadorian legislation, over-consumption of raw water generates additional costs that must be paid by water companies to the central government. In that regard, there is an inevitable relationship between the efficiency of the service and those additional costs. Efficiency, on this case, is the capacity of water companies (public or private) to provide water services at an adequate price, observing the following parameters: quantity, quality and sufficiency. Our research found that with this legislation in three Ecuadorian local governments (Cuenca, Gualaceo and Suscal), the most vulnerable households (i.e., low-income and/or indigenous households) will be affected the most. This means that and those families will spend the most part of their income on water services otherwise they would have to reduce their water consumption. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ecological Drought: Accounting for the Non-Human Impacts of Water Shortage in the Upper Missouri Headwaters Basin, Montana, USA
Resources 2018, 7(1), 14; doi:10.3390/resources7010014 -
Abstract
Water laws and drought plans are used to prioritize and allocate scarce water resources. Both have historically been human-centric, failing to account for non-human water needs. In this paper, we examine the development of instream flow legislation and the evolution of drought planning
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Water laws and drought plans are used to prioritize and allocate scarce water resources. Both have historically been human-centric, failing to account for non-human water needs. In this paper, we examine the development of instream flow legislation and the evolution of drought planning to highlight the growing concern for the non-human impacts of water scarcity. Utilizing a new framework for ecological drought, we analyzed five watershed-scale drought plans in southwestern Montana, USA to understand if, and how, the ecological impacts of drought are currently being assessed. We found that while these plans do account for some ecological impacts, it is primarily through the narrow lens of impacts to fish as measured by water temperature and streamflow. The latter is typically based on the same ecological principles used to determine instream flow requirements. We also found that other resource plans in the same watersheds (e.g., Watershed Restoration Plans, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Watershed Assessments or United States Forest Service (USFS) Forest Plans) identify a broader range of ecological drought risks. Given limited resources and the potential for mutual benefits and synergies, we suggest greater integration between various planning processes could result in a more holistic consideration of water needs and uses across the landscape. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Rights of Nature: Rivers That Can Stand in Court
Resources 2018, 7(1), 13; doi:10.3390/resources7010013 -
Abstract
An increasing number of court rulings and legislation worldwide are recognizing rights of nature to be protected and preserved. Recognizing these rights also entails the recognition that nature has the right to stand in court and to be represented for its defense. This
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An increasing number of court rulings and legislation worldwide are recognizing rights of nature to be protected and preserved. Recognizing these rights also entails the recognition that nature has the right to stand in court and to be represented for its defense. This is still an incipient field and every step taken in this direction constitutes a precedent from which to learn and on which to base new rulings and legislation initiatives. Within this doctrine, rivers seem to be on the spotlight and court rulings on the rights of rivers are the ones setting precedent. These cases have taken place in New Zealand, Ecuador, India, and Colombia. This review looks into what all these rulings and legislation worldwide say about the rights of nature and what legal and systemic considerations should be taken into account as the recognition of the rights of nature moves forward. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Equity Autopsy: Exploring the Role of Water Rights in Water Allocations and Impacts for the Central Valley Project during the 2012–2016 California Drought
Resources 2018, 7(1), 12; doi:10.3390/resources7010012 -
Abstract
Entrenched Western water rights regimes may appear to function relatively well in wet years, but extreme drought events can expose the kinds of harsh ecological and socio-economic outcomes that the hard edges of prior appropriation inherently generate. During the 2012–2016 California drought some
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Entrenched Western water rights regimes may appear to function relatively well in wet years, but extreme drought events can expose the kinds of harsh ecological and socio-economic outcomes that the hard edges of prior appropriation inherently generate. During the 2012–2016 California drought some irrigators received little or no water at all in consecutive years while others received comparatively large allocations. This paper focuses on the role that California’s water rights priority system and its administration via Central Valley Project contracts have played in generating disproportionate water allocations and impacts during the drought. The analysis is structured around two key questions: (a) in what ways does strict adherence to a priority system of water allocations produce inequitable socio-ecological outcomes during severe drought? (b) how might the system be changed to foster outcomes that are more equitable and fair, and with less costly and less serious conflicts in a non-stationary climate future marked by extreme events? Using an equity perspective, I draw from the doctrine of equitable apportionment to imagine a water rights regime that is better able to create a fairer distribution of drought impacts while meaningfully elevating the importance of future generations and increasing adaptive capacity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Accounting for the Boundary Problem at Subnational Level: The Supply–Demand Balance of Biomass Cooking Fuels in Kitui County, Kenya
Resources 2018, 7(1), 11; doi:10.3390/resources7010011 -
Abstract
In sub-Saharan Africa, the high demand for wood-based cooking fuels calls for urgent policy action to steer the cooking energy sector towards more sustainability. While the subnational scale is growing in importance for policy planning, current energy assessments still only consider individual entities
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In sub-Saharan Africa, the high demand for wood-based cooking fuels calls for urgent policy action to steer the cooking energy sector towards more sustainability. While the subnational scale is growing in importance for policy planning, current energy assessments still only consider individual entities without taking into account resource flows. Ignoring flows of biomass cooking fuels in supply–demand assessments is a system boundary problem that can lead to misleading policy recommendations. In this paper, we tackle the boundary problem in subnational supply–demand assessments and provide a tool to support knowledge-based decision-making on the management of biomass cooking fuels in sub-Saharan Africa. Using Kitui County as a case study, we developed and tested an approach consisting of a supply model, local demand model, balance model, availability model, and adjusted balance model. The balance model only considers local fuel supplies and demand, whereas the adjusted balance model also considers external demand, which reduces the locally available supply of fuel. The results show that fuel demand and supply are spatially heterogeneous and vary between wood-based and non-woody fuels, and that the transport distance of fuels strongly affects local fuel availability and determines whether the supply–demand balance is positive or negative. We conclude that subnational energy policies should consider geographical distribution of supply and demand, aim to increase the fuel mix, consider external demand in supply–demand assessments, and differentiate between fuels for self-consumption and the market. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Future Trajectories of Renewable Energy Consumption in the European Union
Resources 2018, 7(1), 10; doi:10.3390/resources7010010 -
Abstract
Renewable energy sources (RESs) are able to reduce the European Union (EU)’s dependence on foreign energy imports, also meeting sustainable objectives to tackle climate change and to enhance economic opportunities. Energy management requires a quantitative analysis and the European Commission follows the performance
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Renewable energy sources (RESs) are able to reduce the European Union (EU)’s dependence on foreign energy imports, also meeting sustainable objectives to tackle climate change and to enhance economic opportunities. Energy management requires a quantitative analysis and the European Commission follows the performance of each Member State (MS) in order to define the corrective measures towards 2020 targets. Starting from historical data reported in the Eurostat database and through a mathematical model, this work proposes future trajectories towards 2020 of the share of energy from renewables (REs) in terms of gross final energy consumption (GFEC). Furthermore, a quantitative analysis based on two indices—(i) the share of REs in GFEC, and (ii) gross final renewable energy consumption (GFREC) per capita—permits a comparison among 28 MSs. The share of REs in GFEC in EU 28 varies from 19.4% to 21.8% in future trajectories towards 2020. Sweden and Finland occupy the top part of the ranking, while six MSs (Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) are not able to reach the 2020 targets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Implications of Emerging Vehicle Technologies on Rare Earth Supply and Demand in the United States
Resources 2018, 7(1), 9; doi:10.3390/resources7010009 -
Abstract
We explore the long-term demand and supply potentials of rare earth elements in alternative energy vehicles (AEVs) in the United States until 2050. Using a stock-flow model, we compare a baseline scenario with scenarios that incorporate an exemplary technological innovation: a novel aluminum–cerium–magnesium
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We explore the long-term demand and supply potentials of rare earth elements in alternative energy vehicles (AEVs) in the United States until 2050. Using a stock-flow model, we compare a baseline scenario with scenarios that incorporate an exemplary technological innovation: a novel aluminum–cerium–magnesium alloy. We find that the introduction of the novel alloy demonstrates that even low penetration rates can exceed domestic cerium production capacity, illustrating possible consequences of technological innovations to material supply and demand. End-of-life vehicles can, however, overtake domestic mining as a source of materials, calling for proper technologies and policies to utilize this emerging source. The long-term importing of critical materials in manufactured and semi-manufactured products shifts the location of material stocks and hence future secondary supply of high-value materials, culminating in a double benefit to the importing country. This modeling approach is adaptable to the study of varied scenarios and materials, linking technologies with supply and demand dynamics in order to understand their potential economic and environmental consequences. Full article
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