A revised management plan—with no change to surface water limits, but an even stricter cap on groundwater withdrawals—for Australia’s Murray-Darling river basin has infuriated many groups, especially farmers. The head of the New South Wales irrigators council called for revisions, lest “social and economic Armageddon” come to farm communities. Victoria’s water minister labeled the plan a “death warrant” and said the state could not support it. Yet some conservationists said the cuts do not go far enough. More consultations with the states will ensue.
The Modesto Bee takes a look at a proposed water rights sale between San Francisco and a central California irrigation district. The district’s board will vote on the measure at the end of June.
Half of the water sampled in Patna, India is unfit for human consumption, according to test results from the city’s health department, which found fecal coliform at concentrations 50 times higher than the national standard. That is one finding in Excreta Matters, a report from the New Delhi-based Center for Science and Environment, a research and lobbying organization. The report looks at water and sewage in 71 Indian cities.
Kenyan farmers tell AlterNet that they don’t need fertilizers from multinational biotechnology firms as much as they need reliable water for their crops.
Panelists at European Union’s annual environmental conference, held last week in Brussels, debated the proper use of water prices, the Irish Times reports. Ireland, after years of free municipal water, will install meters this year and start billing residents.
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