Monday, Nov. 27, 2017

After the drop

Fire retardant raises worries about water, wildlife risk

A firefighting C-130 air tanker drops fire retardant Oct. 15 during a fire near Santa Rosa. DAVID McNEW / Getty Images

Water Deeply

Water Deeply

Chemical fire retardants are considered a vital wildland firefighting tool, helping to slow the spread of flames. But as their use increases, the harmful side effects of these chemicals are coming under increasing scrutiny. Studies have shown retardants can kill fish, alter soil chemistry, feed harmful algae blooms and even encourage the spread of invasive plants. Yet there is little regulation of their use, and no safer alternatives on the market.

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Calaveras Dam called model of safety, efficiency

San Francisco Chronicle

Hidden away in the bulging hills of the Sunol Valley, construction on the showpiece of San Francisco’s water delivery system overhaul is nearing completion. At the northernmost tip of the Calaveras Reservoir, a critical component of the vast Hetch Hetchy network that sends water to 2.7 million Bay Area residents, a brand-new, $810 million earthen dam is now 89 percent complete.

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Court denies petition to hear water rights case

Palm Springs Desert Sun

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will not hear an appeal by water agencies in the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ landmark lawsuit asserting rights to groundwater beneath the tribe's reservation. The next court phase will focus on whether the tribe owns storage space within the desert aquifer in Palm Springs and surrounding areas.

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