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Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

GAO Reports – Municipal Freshwater Scarcity, U.S. Postal Service

  • Municipal Freshwater Scarcity: Survey of Technology Adoption by Municipal Water Utilities (GAO-16-588SP, April 29, 2016), an E-supplement to GAO-16-474, GAO-16-588SP: Published: Apr 29, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2016: “This e-supplement presents the results of GAO s web-based survey of 1,303 U.S. municipal water utilities. The survey asked questions about: (1) the technologies utilities use to improve water distribution efficiency; (2) the technologies they use to treat nontraditional water sources; (3) the challenges they face in using such technologies; and (4) the basic characteristics of their infrastructure, operations, and service area.”
  • Technology Assessment: Municipal freshwater scarcity: Using technology to improve distribution system efficiency and tap nontraditional water sources, GAO-16-474: Published: Apr 29, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2016: “Water scarcity occurs when the demand for water in a given area approaches or exceeds available water supplies. A water utility facing scarcity may attempt to address it by reducing its demand on existing water supplies, increasing its water supplies, or both. Many mature technologies are available to address both of these areas…”
  • U.S. Postal Service: Post Office Changes Suggest Cost Savings, but Improved Guidance, Data, and Analysis Can Inform Future Savings Efforts, GAO-16-385: Published: Apr 29, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2016: USPS continues to experience a financial crisis and has undertaken many initiatives to reduce costs. In May 2012, USPS announced POStPlan, which aimed to reduce retail hours at post offices and use less costly labor. However, an arbitrator ruled in September 2014 that USPS must reverse several of these staffing changes.”

New Scientist – Google AI has access to huge haul of NHS patient data

Via New Scientist, Hal Hodson: ” It’s no secret that Google has broad ambitions in healthcare. But a document obtained by New Scientist reveals that the tech giant’s collaboration with the UK’s National Health Service goes far beyond what has been publicly announced. The document – a data-sharing agreement between Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMindContinue Reading

Supreme Court expands surveillance powers of intelligence agency

Via The Intercept: “The Supreme Court on approved [April 28, 2016] changes that would make it easier for the FBI to hack into computers, including those belonging to victims of cybercrime. The changes will take effect in December, unless Congress adopts competing legislation. Previously, under the federal rules on criminal procedures, a magistrate judge couldn’tContinue Reading

Study – Finding forced trends in oceanic oxygen

Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Finding forced trends in oceanic oxygen (abstract). First published: February 2016. “Anthropogenically forced trends in oceanic dissolved oxygen are evaluated in Earth system models in the context of natural variability. A large ensemble of a single Earth system model is used to clearly identify the forced component of change in interior oxygenContinue Reading

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: April 2016

“The April Kaiser Health Tracking Poll continues Kaiser Family Foundation tracking of perceptions of the safety of drinking water. KEY FINDINGS: The majority of individuals living in the Midwest rate the job being done by their state to ensure the safety of the public drinking water as fair or poor. Women are less confident inContinue Reading

GAO Report – Government Efficiency and Effectiveness: Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation

Government Efficiency and Effectiveness: Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial Benefits, GAO-16-580T: Published: Apr 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 2016. “GAO’s 2016 annual report identifies 92 new actions that Congress and executive branch agencies could take to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government in 37 areas. GAO identifiesContinue Reading

OECD, International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS), and World Bank join forces to improve private pension statistics

“The OECD, IOPS, and World Bank announced today that they are collaborating to help expand global data on private pensions. The OECD and IOPS currently collect a market-leading suite of statistics on private pensions as part of the OECD’s Global Pension Statistics database and annual Pensions Markets in Focus report. Initially the data included OECDContinue Reading

Will droughts turn the Amazon into a giant source of carbon pollution?

NOAA: “Will droughts turn the Amazon into a giant source of carbon pollution? As climate change increases temperatures and alters rainfall patterns across South America, scientists are concerned that the Amazon rainforest will shift from a carbon sponge to a carbon source. New research published today in the journal Global Change Biology highlights this disturbingContinue Reading

THOMAS.gov to Retire July 5

News from the Library of Congress: “THOMAS.gov, the online legislative information system, will officially retire July 5, completing the multi-year transition to Congress.gov. “The Library is well-positioned for the future with Congress.gov,” said Acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao. “Free access to legislative information that anyone can search for and read is central toContinue Reading

Iraq Country Analysis Brief

EIA: “Iraq is the second-largest crude oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Saudi Arabia, and it holds the world’s fifth-largest proved crude oil reserves after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Iran. Most of Iraq’s major known fields are producing or in development, although much of its known hydrocarbon resourcesContinue Reading

In October 2015, 69.2% of 2015 high school graduates enrolled in college

BLS: “In October 2015, 69.2 percent of 2015 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in October 2015 were about twice as likely as enrolled graduates to be working or looking for work (72.7 percent compared withContinue Reading

2012 Economic Census Subject Series: Accommodation and Food Services – ZIP Code Statistics

“This release contains a data file on the accommodation and food services sector for the entire United States. These statistics are limited to a count of the establishments in each industry by sales-size range of establishments. These ZIP codes are reported by businesses or coded from addresses. They are not the ZIP Code Tabulation AreasContinue Reading