Great Lakes

Lake Erie algae alive and well.

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In a set of draft guidelines meant to improve federal environmental reviews of new projects and policies, the White House Council on Environmental Quality recommended three circumstances in which broad “programmatic” analyses should be undertaken: 1) before setting national or regional rules 2) before adopting a plan for managing multiple resources 3) before making decisions […]

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Current targets not enough to stop algal toxins.

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Algae toxins poison Lake Erie; 400,000 people without water.

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Algal bloom season is here. These tools will help you keep track.

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AcresofCrops

Click through the interactive spreadsheets to see how phosphorous loading in the Great Lakes region has changed in the last decade and how these trends relate to changes in cropping patterns since the 1950s and land use patterns since the 1980s.

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The House Appropriations Committee passed a $US 34 billion bill on Thursday to fund the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, which handles western U.S. water matters, and the Army Corps of Engineers, which is in charge of many levees, dams, and wetlands. The White House threatened to veto the bill, making several […]

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University of Michigan study provides online video scenarios of fast and expansive movement of oil in two Great Lakes.

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Toxic Algae

Lake continues trend of harmful and unsightly effect of nutrient pollution.

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Europe More cities in France are starting to return to public water supplies, pressuring private water firms that control 60 percent of the country’s water market, Reuters reported. The trend follows Paris’ decision to ditch its private water system five years ago, and is allowing cities to negotiate for better prices with their private suppliers […]

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President Obama signed legislation that authorizes $US 82 million over four years for researching and responding to harmful algae blooms. A federal task force, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, must prepare a plan within two years for reducing algae blooms in the Great Lakes. An existing task force must file a progress […]

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Computer models forecast a low-oxygen “dead zone” of average size for the Gulf of Mexico this summer and a slightly above-average fish-suffocation zone for the Chesapeake Bay, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The standard unit for comparing the size of dead zones is the “New England state.” The Gulf of Mexico will […]

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South America An ongoing drought has raised the prospect of water rationing in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, Reuters reported. The city is home to 20 million people and will be one of the sites to host World Cup soccer games in June. Mining companies are slowing down their investments in Chile due to high […]

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New research finds that agricultural practices lead to biggest threat to water quality and health in the Great Lakes.

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Like with any spending plan, water programs, because of their diversity, seesawed in the president’s budget request. Some programs were down, some up. Two programs that tipped way down were the state revolving funds, which provide low-interest loans to drinking water and sewer projects. President Obama requested a 25 percent cut. The president also requested […]

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Australia New South Wales and the federal government of Australia have reached a new agreement about government water buybacks in the Murray-Darling River Basin, capping the buybacks at 1,500 gigaliters, the Guardian reported. The buybacks transfer water rights from farmers and other water users to the government, and are meant to keep enough water in […]

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Covering about 88 percent of the lakes on February 13, the ice has implications for water levels, shipping and fisheries.

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After a period of budget gloom, the $US 1 trillion spending bill approved by the House and Senate last week brought a little cheer to water programs, which fared relatively well. Some of the harshest sequestration cuts have been restored. The bill will add $US 10 million to the U.S. Geological Survey’s water resources program, […]

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In a normal week, I use this space to look back at U.S. government water news from the seven days that have just passed. Today, however, I turn the lens in the opposite direction. These are the policies, reports, and decisions to anticipate in 2014, organized chronologically, more or less. Great Lakes The government gets […]

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Dropping When It’s Hot The Santa Ana watershed, home to 6 million people in Southern California, faces a number of threats to its water supply because of climate change, according to a comprehensive Bureau of Reclamation study. River flows and precipitation will decrease, as will the amount of water infiltrating the basin’s aquifers, which provide […]

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