Entries by Brett Walton

Paradise Officials Unveil $53 Million Plan to Rid Damaged Water Pipes of Contaminants

It could be February 2021 until the California town’s water system is completely cleared of chemicals introduced during the disastrous Camp Fire. By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue Two years and $53 million. That’s the estimated timeline and cost for a multiphase plan to overcome the primary impediment in rebuilding the fire-damaged town of Paradise: […]

U.S. Irrigation Continues Steady Eastward Expansion

Irrigated farmland in the United States climbed to a record-high 58 million acres in 2017, according to new federal government data.

Federal Water Tap, April 15: Trump Energy Order Targets State Water Permitting Authority

The Rundown President Trump hopes to boost construction of energy infrastructure projects. The Senate confirms David Bernhardt to lead the Interior Department. Congress approves a Colorado River basin conservation plan. The Army Corps’ management of Missouri River reservoirs comes under the microscope. The USDA releases its census of farm data. Federal officials prepare a trade […]

In Bid for Cleaner Water, California Seeks Arranged Utility Marriages

Uniting small, failing utilities with larger neighbors can fix water problems.

Despite Billions in Losses and Clear Financial Dangers, Companies Slow to Respond to Water Risks

More businesses track water use, but fewer take the next step of setting targets.

Federal Water Tap, April 8: Let’s Make a Green Deal?

The Rundown A House Republican offers a competing green deal proposal. A Senate committee advances David Bernhardt’s nomination to be secretary of the Interior. Bills authorizing the Colorado River conservation plan are introduced in the House and Senate. A Kentucky congressman reintroduces a bill to halt new mountaintop coal mining until a federal health study […]

The Water ‘Accessibility Trap’: Q&A with Alexandra Campbell-Ferrari and Luke Wilson

Authors of a report on local drinking water laws discuss the lack of water shutoff data and the fees that make it harder for struggling households to stay afloat.

In Maryland, Vulnerability to Water Shutoffs Depends on Your Address

New report highlights how local laws can trap households in a cycle of fees that influence water affordability, shutoffs, and timely bill payment.

Federal Water Tap, April 1: Justice Department Sues California Over River Plan

The Rundown Trump administration lawsuit opposes California’s plan to add water to rivers for fish and environment. Colorado River officials barnstorm Congress to lobby for action on the basin’s water conservation plan. The GAO reports that state agencies do not have the capacity to administer tens of billions in disaster aid that Congress allocated in […]

Federal Water Tap, March 25: Major Flooding Risks In Midwest Continue Through May

The Rundown NOAA scientists warn of “potentially unprecedented” spring floods in the Mississippi River watershed. The Colorado River basin states submit water conservation plans to Congress and prepare to testify in hearings this week. FEMA approves flood disaster declarations for Iowa and Nebraska. The EPA proposes 20 chemicals as a high priority for risk evaluations. […]

New Mexico Oil Production Is Soaring. Now What To Do With The Wastewater?

State lawmakers pass bill to facilitate reusing salty water from the oil fields.

Historic Missouri River Flood Damages Water Infrastructure

Sewage spills, pollution risks, and reduced capacity at drinking water plants.