Much of the environmental news this year was focused on the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which was released in final form on August 4, and climate change.

The Clean Power Plan applies to both existing and new power plants and seeks to reduce climate change by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Immediately after the final rule was published in the Federal Register, several states, industry firms and groups filed lawsuits with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Oct. 23.

Congressional opponents to the administration’s plan in both the House and Senate passed resolutions of disapproval to block the rule from going into effect. But President Obama vetoed the bills in December.

Environmental groups strongly support the Clean Power Plan, which was highlighted as pivotal for the success of negotiations at the Conference of Parties (COP-21) to the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Paris Nov. 30-Dec. 12. By the end of the meeting, officials from nearly 200 countries around the world committed to much tougher reductions than political observers had expected.

Another major effect of climate change is drought, and water utilities around the country continued to step up efforts to address dwindling water resources. In Las Vegas, a novel construction project is underway to ensure a safe water supply for local residents.

And increasingly, U.S. water utilities are considering reusing wastewater, either directly or indirectly, as a drinking-water source.

Drought’s twin side—sea-level rise and extreme storms—has perhaps in the U.S. been most keenly felt in New Orleans, which saw the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in 2015. The state has embarked on a number of projects to ensure that the region is more resilient to future storms.