Resources2015, 4(2), 172-184; doi:10.3390/resources4020172 (registering DOI) - published 30 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In 1938, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado signed the Rio Grande Compact, establishing terms of apportionment for some of the water from the Rio Grande for the three states. Following congressional approval in 1939, this compact governs water allocation in a region with a variable climate and frequent drought conditions and established the Rio Grande Compact Commission, comprised of a commissioner from each state and one from the federal government, to enforce the compact. With an increasing population and declining surface water supply, the Compact has been tested among the parties and within the states themselves. In a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado (2013), Texas claims New Mexico is violating the Compact and Rio Grande Project Act by using water in excess of its apportionment through its allowance of diversions of surface and groundwater. The issue is further compounded by disputes within Texas over separate legal regimes for groundwater and surface water. Combined with growing scarcity issues, the allocation of water in the Lower Rio Grande presents a timely natural resource challenge. This review explores legal issues involved in the case as well as growing challenges of population growth, agricultural development needs, and water shortages.
Abstract: In the coming years the geographical distribution of wind farms in Great Britain is expected to change significantly. Following the development of the “round 3” wind zones (circa 2025), most of the installed capacity will be located in large offshore wind farms. However, the impact of this change in wind-farm distribution on the characteristics of national wind generation is largely unknown. This study uses a 34-year reanalysis dataset (Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) from National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (NASA-GMAO)) to produce a synthetic hourly time series of GB-aggregated wind generation based on: (1) the “current” wind farm distribution; and (2) a “future” wind farm distribution scenario. The derived data are used to estimate a climatology of extreme wind power events in Great Britain for each wind farm distribution. The impact of the changing wind farm distribution on the wind-power statistics is significant. The annual mean capacity factor increased from 32.7% for the current wind farm distribution to 39.7% for the future distribution. In addition, there are fewer periods of prolonged low generation and more periods of prolonged high generation. Finally, the frequency and magnitude of ramping in the nationally aggregated capacity factor remains largely unchanged. However, due to the increased capacity of the future distribution, in terms of power output, the magnitude of the ramping increases by a factor of 5.
Abstract: Resilience assessments are increasingly used to inform management decisions and development interventions across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In light of current and future climate change and variability, there is growing interest in applying such tools and frameworks to assess and strengthen the climate resilience of smallholder farming systems. However, these assessments are often undertaken without explicit consideration of the resilience thinking in which they are grounded. This makes it difficult to understand how the conceptual aspects of resilience are translating into resilience assessment practice. This paper provides an important first step in tackling this gap, by identifying and using key characteristics of resilience thinking to evaluate existing resilience assessment tools and frameworks and drawing insights for assessing the climate resilience of smallholder farming systems. We find that power, politics, and agency, identified as important in the resilience literature, are not fully incorporated within current tools and frameworks. This leads to inadequate consideration of spatial and temporal trade-offs. We propose six recommendations for assessing the climate resilience of smallholder farming systems in SSA in order to enhance the linkages between resilience theory and practice. These are: (1) better integrate vulnerability and resilience; (2) recognize that resilience does not equal development or poverty reduction; (3) recognize the benefits and limitations of adopting flexible, participatory approaches; (4) integrate issues of power into assessment tools; (5) target specific systems; and (6) encourage knowledge sharing, empirical studies, and critical evaluation. Our findings contribute to improved understanding of applications of resilience thinking to enhance natural resource management.
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to examine if the surplus of wind energy could be added to electricity-to-heat conversion systems when there is increased congestion in the grid or when there is wind power curtailment. In this way, the produced power can be utilized for contributing to the local district heating (DH) system needs. After examining scenarios, optimized energy distribution is recommended. A case study near Kozani, Greece with an onshore wind farm (WF) to be installed was thoroughly investigated exploring the options for increased wind energy integration analyzing thermal utilization possibilities based on the local DH needs. A wind resource assessment for the area was done, which optimizes the WF planning and links the DH system with the operation of the WF. The utilization rate between the electric and the DH grid was examined in order to describe the optimal way of the energy to be distributed reassuring profitability for the power producer and robust energy management for the system. It was found that the curtailed wind energy can be locally utilized in a DH system, by covering part of the demand that the diesel-based peak load boiler system does currently.
Abstract: Recognizing the significance of medicinal plants for rural livelihoods and primary healthcare, this paper attempted to analyze institutional interplays in medicinal plants management in Bangladesh. It assessed the governing process of natural resources by identifying cross-scale linkages of the institutions involved with managing medicinal plants. The study intended to delineate the interactional patterns and dynamics between existing formal and informal organizations toward exploring prospects of new medicinal plants governance institutions. Employing case study and participatory approaches to empirical field investigation, two intervention cases of the Livelihood and Agro-Forestry (LEAF) and Sustainable Environmental Management Program (SEMP) were assessed in two different social-ecological settings of the country. Involving 45 respondents in each site, Focus Group Discussions were carried out, and a total of 26 Key Informants were interviewed. The findings have revealed that undefined roles and responsibilities, inadequate coordination, and weak linkages among the cross-scale institutions resulted in ineffective management and relatively poor performance. Institutions with direct or indirect involvement in the process of managing medicinal plants interacted haphazardly, without much focus on the subsector and its local producers. Addressing the weaknesses, this study calls for formulating a national sub-sectoral approach focusing on strengthening and sustaining local producers and value addition to producer levels. Finally, this research offers a framework for developing a multi-stakeholder forum to govern medicinal plant resources coherently and effectively in Bangladesh.
Abstract: Despite recent efforts to record wind at finer spatial and temporal scales, stochastic realizations of wind are still important for many purposes and particularly for wind energy grid integration and reliability studies. Most instances of wind generation in the literature focus on simulating only wind speed, or power, or only the wind vector at a particular location and sampling frequency. In this work, we introduce a Markov-switching vector autoregressive (MSVAR) model, and we demonstrate its flexibility in simulating wind vectors for 10-min, hourly and daily time series and for individual, locally-averaged and regionally-averaged time series. In addition, we demonstrate how the model can be used to simulate wind vectors at multiple locations simultaneously for an hourly time step. The parameter estimation and simulation algorithm are presented along with a validation of the important statistical properties of each simulation scenario. We find the MSVAR to be very flexible in characterizing a wide range of properties in the wind vector, and we conclude with a discussion of extensions of this model and modeling choices that may be investigated for further improvements.