Earlier this month Vietnam became the 35th country to ratify a United Nations treaty on rivers that cross international boundaries. Having now acquired an adequate number of signatures, the treaty will come into force on August 17, 2014. The International Water Law blog is hosting a series of essays exploring what this means for the management of shared rivers.
Laws passed in California that require irrigation districts to track water use and levy fees are largely being ignored, finds the Center for Investigative Reporting. Only 20 percent of the districts required to file water-use reports, which were due 10 months ago, have done so.
With its major reservoirs near record lows, Austin, Texas has convened a task force to find new sources of water, StateImpact Texas reports. The panel will consider a range of options: using treated wastewater, decreasing reservoir evaporation, and storing water in aquifers and in cisterns in commercial buildings.
Parts of at least 40 U.S. states could face water shortages under average conditions in the next decade, according to a report from the U.S. government’s internal watchdog. Updating a 2003 report, the Government Accountability Office found that states are taking steps to prepare by ordering water assessments and drought plans.
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