Posts Tagged: water

Water, water not everywhere (especially not in the Southwest)

As trapped carbon dioxide raises temperatures around the world, water will become even more scarce in the already arid southwest, according to a report released yesterday by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, together with the Army Corps of Engineers.

While a story by Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times says California as a whole will end the century receiving about as much water as it does today, though precipitation will be distributed differently. (more…)

No easy way out on water issues in California

After years of admonishment about wasting water, residents of perennially dry California are watching billions of gallons of the life giving liquid roll out to sea as a prodigious rainy season draws to a close.

With irrigation districts, water districts and enviros engaged in battles spreading out across the decades, Matt Weiser 0f the Sacramento Bee wades into the battle with a primer on efforts to boost water supplies in California and the substantial hurdles these projects must clear. (more…)

Fresh start for fresh water in California?

Water management must be completely reworked in California, with antique regulations jettisoned along with the usual way wildlife conservation is looked at in the state, say eight academic experts whose 500-page book on California’s water crisis was released this week. (more…)

Reason to question California’s “reasonable use” standard on water resources

Small alterations to irrigation practices used by California farmers could remove the need for massive new dams and canals, better protect the environment and leave more drinking water for residential customers, according to a report expected to be released to state water regulators in California next week.  Bettina Boxall profiles that report in the Los Angeles Times.

The report, certain to spark controversy among those benefiting from the status quo, suggests regulators revisit the legalistic phrase “reasonable use” in the state’s constitution: (more…)

Clean Water Act can only work if it’s enforced

The Springfield State Journal-Register ran an interesting editorial arguing that rollbacks in the federal Clean Water Act have severely hurt Illinois.  Keith Bolin, President of the American Corn Growers Association, and Bruce Ratain, field associate with Environmental Illinois, point out that in 2001 and 2006 the Supreme Court exempted many waterways from the Clean Water Act, which is (more…)

Let it flow: more water than expected for farmers in California

Shasta Dam

Ho-hum, Doomsday has been postponed again.

All the warnings of a parched summer for California agriculture just went down the drain.  California growers will receive just under half of their contracted allotments of federal irrigation water, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Monday. (more…)

Oregon bumps up against Mining Law of 1872

There are still rivers in the U.S. that are relatively pristine. The Chetco River, which flows from Siskiyou Mountains and into the Pacific Ocean in southern Oregon, is one of those. The conservation group American Rivers recently listed The Chetco River as one of the 10 most endangered rivers in America, because a developer is proposing to mine for gold in the Chetco’s waters. Gold mining is never pretty, and often leaves behind an environmental disaster. (more…)

Hopes for water solution dissolving in California

A federal judge will take another week to issue his decision on the latest court battle over California’s water. The surprise delay came after Judge Oliver Wanger trashed a National Marine Fisheries Service biological opinion that several species, including once-teeming and now-endangered Chinook salmon, must be protected by a sharp reduction in water diversions. (more…)

California ruling puts farming ahead of fish

California agribusiness and water agencies won the latest legal skirmish in California’s water wars yesterday when a federal judge in Fresno issued an injunction against orders earlier issued by federal officials that limited the amount of river water to be diverted for agriculture and water agencies. (more…)