A market-based answer on water supply
In this edition: A water-management idea that could help farms, cities, and ecosystems; potatoes on Mars; clean energy momentum, despite Trump.
What we're writing
—Water markets are in many ways in their infancy. But the idea is a big one. If managed right, it can potentially encourage water to flow where it's most useful, supporting farms, cities, and ecosystems. Farmers, the biggest water users, gain an incentive to conserve when they can make extra money by selling or leasing their surplus. // Zack Colman
An experiment simulating conditions on Mars suggests the hearty tubers might thrive even there, if provided with air. The lesson for Earth: The versatile potato is also a prime candidate to help feed a warmer, more populous world. // Patrick Reilly
President Trump is expected to issue an executive order to dismantle an Obama administration Clean Power Plan. But experts say that alone won't dictate what states and businesses do. // Yu-Ning Aileen Chuang, Medill News Service (in collaboration with The Christian Science Monitor)
What we're reading
For people around the world who lack electricity, clean-energy microgrids may be the answer. // Ensia
Bricks solidified with pressure instead of heat could save lots of energy, say these Swiss researchers. // Anthropocene
A researcher tries to quantify the carbon-storing benefits of Florida Mangrove forests. // Yale Climate Connections
Airborne instruments help scientists explore how coastal marshes might cope with rising sea levels. // NASA
"Very few people get to see it, and it is incredible." // Alan Van Valkenburg, park ranger, in video shared by Southern California Public Radio
"Investor sentiment ... in a rising interest rate and falling oil price market obscured by tax policy uncertainty remains tepid." // Credit Suisse analyst Andrew Hughes, quoted by Reuters. Mr. Hughes is still bullish on some residential-solar stocks.
"All signs point to the continued rise of customer ownership. Leasing was a necessary temporary solution that sparked the original growth of residential solar, but the future is cash and loans." // a GTM Research report, quoted in Computerworld
"I do think trust has been eroded to the point that it is becoming a serious issue for our long-term future.... If we are not careful, broader public support for the sector will wane." // CEO Ben van Beurden, at a Houston conference, quoted by Digital Journal