Tuesday, May 31, 2016

All eyes on Mead

A single relatively wet winter has led California officials to relax in a way some water experts believe is reckless

In San Diego County, Colorado River water comprises 64 percent of the total supplies. PROPUBLICA

ProPublica

ProPublica

Earlier this month, California lifted its sweeping restrictions on how its towns and cities use their water, signaling that a moderately wet winter has blunted officials' sense of urgency over water shortages. Seemingly overlooked, however, is the state's enormous reliance on the Colorado River and Lake Mead for its urban water supplies — and that the river is approaching its worst point of crisis in a generation.

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Water crisis not on presidential candidates' radar

San Francisco Chronicle

The state's record drought, only dented by last winter's rains, comes amid a 16-year dry spell in the Colorado River basin, which provides 16 percent of California's water. The basin's giant reservoirs are dwindling and may never fill again. So far, the three major presidential candidates have hardly noticed these problems as they barnstorm the state heading into the June 7 primary.

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Court backs land owners over wetlands permits

Reuters & Vox.com

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a setback to federal authorities on environmental law by ruling today that property owners can challenge the government over the need for costly permits. The court ruled that that federal determinations of protected waters are subject to judicial review, potentially weakening the government's ability to protect the nation's waters under the Clean Water Act.

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