The Stream, February 1, 2019: With Deadline Looming, Arizona Passes Colorado River Drought Plan

The Global Rundown

Arizona approves a Colorado River drought contingency plan on the eve of the federal deadline. A royal commission into Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin Plan finds evidence of maladministration, negligence, and unlawful actions. Brazilian mining company Vale shuts down 10 dams similar to the structure that collapsed last Friday. Three nonprofit groups sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for ignoring deadlines to review drinking water standards. Flooding in Saudi Arabia kills a dozen people and injures more than 100.

“We inherited as human beings a pristine land with pristine water, and we messed it up as human beings ourselves. It is incumbent for us to safeguard, protect what we have left.” –Senator Jamescita Peshlakai, who represents the Navajo reservation in northeastern Arizona, in reference to the state’s approval of a drought plan for the Colorado River. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation set a deadline of January 31 for the seven Colorado Basin states to draw up voluntary drought contingency plans. Yesterday, Arizona became the final state to approve a plan. Arizona Daily Sun

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

With Water Leasing Vote, Colorado River Indian Tribes Will Seek Consequential Legal ChangeBeing allowed to move water off the reservation will greatly expand the market for water in Arizona.

HotSpots H2O: In Test of Regional Water Cooperation, Pakistan Inspects Indian Hydropower Projects  — India and Pakistan will rekindle the cooperative spirit of a nearly six-decade-old river-sharing treaty this week.

By The Numbers

$1.36 billion Cost of decommissioning 10 dams like the one that collapsed in Brazil last Friday. The disaster released a torrent of toxic mining waste that killed at least 99 people and polluted the Paraopeba River. In addition to shutting down the 10 dams, the owner of the mine, Vale, has offered to keep paying taxes on the mine and to provide compensation to families of the victims. Reuters

271 People in Saudi Arabia who have been rescued this week amid heavy rainfall and flooding. The severe weather has killed 12 people and injured more than 170. The New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

A royal commission report on Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin Plan was released on Thursday, and advised a complete overhaul of the controversial project. The 746-page report found incidences of maladministration, negligence, and unlawful actions in the creation and execution of the plan. The Guardian

On The Radar

The nonprofit Waterkeeper Alliance, along with two member organizations, sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week, saying the agency failed to review important drinking water regulations on time. The suit alleges that the EPA missed deadlines for evaluating standards on chromium, solvents, Legionella bacteria, and other pathogens in U.S. drinking water. Reuters

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