Georgia officials are smiling after Tuesday’s verdict from a federal appeals panel that overturns a lower court’s ruling that metro Atlanta does not have legal authority to use Lake Lanier for its water supply. The Associated Press reports that the Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the reservoir, will re-evaluate Atlanta’s request for water under the new legal guidance.
If its namesake river stops flowing through Llano, Texas—and it might in the next month—the town of 3,000 would have up to 90 days of water in its sole reservoir. The Texas Tribune reports on water restrictions in Llano and other Texan towns during the worst October-to-May drought on record.
In West Texas, billionaire oil developer T. Boone Pickens signed a $103 million deal to sell water rights owned by his Mesa Water company to a regional water supplier. According to Business Week, Pickens had hoped to sell the water—sourced from the Ogallala Aquifer—to cities in eastern Texas, but could not complete a deal.
The Omaha World-Herald has daily updates on the Missouri River flood. High waters will persist, providing a months-long challenge to the flood defense systems at two nuclear power stations in Nebraska, one of which is already surrounded by water.
The National Association of Homebuilders is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over the agency’s plan to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, the Associated Press reports.
Brett writes about agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and the politics and economics of water in the United States. He also writes the Federal Water Tap, Circle of Blue’s weekly digest of U.S. government water news. He is the winner of two Society of Environmental Journalists reporting awards, one of the top honors in American environmental journalism: first place for explanatory reporting for a series on septic system pollution in the United States(2016) and third place for beat reporting in a small market (2014). He received the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018. Brett lives in Seattle, where he hikes the mountains and bakes pies. Contact Brett Walton