U.S. Supreme Court

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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Because of the scant days left in the legislative session, a bill to reauthorize a national drought information system will most likely not be acted on, Zachary Kurz, the communications director for the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology told Circle of Blue. The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) was created by Congress […]

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Oxfam has urged the World Bank to stop its support of large-scale land investments, the Guardian reported. The land purchased by international investors could grow enough food for 1 billion people, but is instead being used to grow biofuels or is left idle, according to a report Oxfam released Thursday. Researchers are hoping to gain […]

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The U.S. House Agriculture Committee published a draft version of the 2012 Farm Bill, which is estimated to save US$35 billion over 10 years. The committee will discuss the 557-page piece of legislation on July 11 (find the committee’s summary here). In the draft, grants for rural water and wastewater projects are cut in half, […]

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The House Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service and 20 related agencies that cut total spending by 4 percent, and by 6 percent compared to the president’s request. The EPA shoulders most of the pain, seeing its budget cut $1.4 billion, […]

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The Guardian explores how Costa Rica has implemented a green economy, which places a monetary value on ecosystem services, to protect resources like forests and water. Officials in Mumbai have warned that water rationing will likely occur after July 15 due to dwindling water supplies in India’s most populous city, The Times of India reported. […]

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Tough verdict on Rio+20 from author George Monbiot: governments have given up on the planet, he writes for the Guardian. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday secured metro Atlanta’s claim to water from Lake Lanier, granting Georgia a big legal victory in its long-standing water rights dispute with Florida and Alabama, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. […]

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The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a bill that would limit the scope of the Clean Water Act to guidelines written by the Bush administration in 2007. Bloomberg BNA reports that a House floor vote should happen soon. The House Appropriations Committee also included language to block the new guidance in a water and […]

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Clean Water Act Interpretation The Obama administration is mulling regulatory guidance for the Clean Water Act that would reinstate language that was proposed by the George W. Bush administration, but was stymied by opposition from industry groups. Greenwire reports that the new guidance would make a broader claim as to which wetlands and small streams […]

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And the People Said… For its study of water use in the Colorado River basin, the Bureau of Reclamation asked for suggestions from the public about how to close the gap between supply and demand. The people responded. The bureau received more than 140 proposals, none of which is binding in any way. Slightly more […]

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Rise and Fall The bilateral commission charged with coordinating U.S. and Canadian policies on the Great Lakes released a draft plan for regulating water levels in Lake Ontario. The proposal will keep the lake closer to natural flow patterns: water levels during high and average conditions will be kept higher, and kept lower under low […]

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Restoring Abundance At a House hearing on the 2013 budget requests for several of the nation’s water and power agencies, California Republican Tom McClintock said the central objective of the House water and energy policy was to “restore abundance”—unlike the Obama administration, which, he claims, is trying to encourage and threaten Americans into using less […]

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On World Water Day, we look at: Water Innovation Hindustan Times features examples of grassroots water innovation in India. With 1.2 billion people, India is teeming with innovators and places to try out ingenious ideas in energy, water, banking, and health care, according to Fast Company. What makes a country ideal for innovation? Israel could […]

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A National Standard It’s not what clean-energy advocates would have envisioned three years ago when the House of Representatives passed a cap-and-trade bill, but it’s something. Last week in the Senate, Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) introduced the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012, which would set national targets for energy produced from renewable and low-carbon sources. […]

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Jumping Asian Carp

The Supreme Court denied a request by five states that were calling for immediate action to stop invasive Asian carp from infiltrating the Great Lakes. This is the third time that the court has denied an injunction for the Asian carp case.

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Water Law The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by five U.S. states seeking an order requiring that additional steps be taken to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, Reuters reported. Poland has not yet complied with EU legislation on water protection, including the monitoring of water quality, the European Commission […]

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Pipes on Tap On Tuesday a Senate subcommittee will listen to officials from local governments speak about water infrastructure problems. The mayor of Baltimore, the manager of a water system in suburban Washington, D.C. and the director of an Alabama water association will speak. This is the second time in the last three months that […]

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Solar Review The deadline for submitting public comments on the Bureau of Land Management’s broad environmental review of solar energy development in six western U.S. states is Friday. The review will result in changes to the agency’s resource management plans, allowing it to concentrate solar energy projects on the most suitable parcels of land. Comments […]

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Peer Reviewers for Fracking Study The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting nominations for qualified scientists to review its draft study of groundwater contamination in a Wyoming town. The draft, released in December, found compounds that are associated with natural-gas drilling processes in two monitoring wells. To nominate someone, send the person’s name, address […]

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China has completed the tunnel under the Yellow River for the South-North Water Transfer Project, which will divert water from the Yangtze River Basin to thirsty cities and industries in the country’s North, Xinhua reported. Check out Circle of Blue’s photos from the construction site and more. United States The U.S. Department of the Interior […]

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