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Volume 4 Issue 7, July 2021

Energy–water synergies

Estimates of the water savings and financial benefits of covering canals with solar panels are rare. McKuin and colleagues find that in the case of California’s canal network, evaporation savings could be substantial and the financial benefits could outweigh the costs of the cable-support structures required to span the canals.

See McKuin et al.

Image: Solar AquaGrid LLC. Cover Design:Valentina Monaco.


  • Nature Sustainability welcomes research comparing the performance of environmental policy instruments to better inform the choice of policies and ultimately help to bridge the science–policy gap.



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Comment & Opinion

  • Sustainably transitioning to electric vehicles is challenging where transport and electricity systems are poorly defined due to a lack of data, such as those dominated by paratransit (informal, privately owned ‘public’ transport). We call for a more systemic approach to data collection as a key enabler for this transition.

    • Katherine A. Collett
    • Stephanie A. Hirmer
  • Multiple policy tools are needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Åsa Persson, from the Stockholm Environment Institute and a member of the Independent Group of Scientists working on the 2023 United Nations Global Sustainable Development Report, speaks to Nature Sustainability about the complexity of research comparing the impacts of policy instruments.

    • Aiora Zabala
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  • Divergent conceptions of living nature between conservationists and other groups of people can hinder progress to protect biodiversity. This Perspective reflects on the use of the concept of biodiversity, willingness to expand its ambit, and engagement with the various drivers of change.

    • Unai Pascual
    • William M. Adams
    • Esther Turnhout
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