Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018

Water wars

Supreme Court justices hear arguments in Florida v. Georgia, and Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado

 (U.S. Supreme Court building seen in May 2017 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Paul Sableman.

Paul Sableman

Jurist, SCOTUSblog & NPR

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in two original jurisdiction cases concerning state disputes over water rights and allocation. In the first case, the court heard arguments concerning water rights to the Rio Grande River. Texas filed the original complaint against New Mexico and Colorado, alleging the states are violating water allocation provisions under the 1938 Rio Grande compact. The U.S. filed a complaint as an intervening party. The second case, Florida v. Georgia, concerns a dispute over the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin.

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N.J. panel backs $400 million infrastructure bond

NJ Spotlight

A joint legislative panel is recommending the state pass a $400 million bond issue to begin addressing New Jersey’s aging water infrastructure. The Joint Legislative Task Force on Drinking Water Infrastructure also proposed a range of policy changes to deal with what shapes up to be a $40 billion problem, overhauling an infrastructure much of which has outlived its useful life.

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Things keep looking up in Chesapeake Bay

Bay Journal & Chesapeake Bay Program

The wintry weather outside may be frightful, but the latest Bay Barometer is pointing in a generally positive direction. The annual report released by the federal-state Chesapeake Bay Program trumpeted continued gains the long-running effort to restore the estuary, with new highs reached last year in fish passage, water quality and blue crab and underwater grass abundance. The Bay Program figures that pollution-reducing measure put in place since 2009 have achieved 33 percent of the nitrogen curbs, 81 percent of the phosphorus cuts and 57 percent of the sediment reductions needed to achieve clean-water standards.

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