Entries by Brett Walton

Federal Water Tap, September 21: EPA Updates Clean Water Act Affordability Guidance

The Rundown The EPA proposes a more nuanced examination of how sewer system upgrades affect the finances of people in the lowest income brackets. Bureau of Reclamation models show a higher risk of low reservoir levels in the Colorado River basin. The State Department expands a Lower Mekong basin partnership that focuses on water management. […]

‘A Lot of Catastrophe’: Louisiana Water Systems Still Reeling from Hurricane Laura

Nearly three weeks after the Hurricane Laura, more than 30 water systems in the state are still not operating.

Federal Water Tap, September 14: Regulator Warns of Climate Risk in Financial System

The Rundown A financial regulator warns of climate risk and advocates for a carbon price. The Senate failed to pass a pandemic relief package. NOAA forecasters say that La Niña conditions have developed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases a draft assessment of Oklahoma City’s plan to minimize harm to an endangered beetle while […]

Western Wildfires Damage, Contaminate Drinking Water Systems

As they tear through forests and developed areas, fires in California, Oregon, and Washington have destroyed water infrastructure and released chemical contaminants.

Removing Carbon from Air, Which Increases Water Use, Is No Simple Climate Fix

Certain ways of drawing carbon out of the atmosphere to keep global temperatures in check come with substantial tradeoffs for water use, water quality, and food production, study finds.

Federal Water Tap, September 8: Satellite Imagery Shows Glacial Lake Growth

The Rundown Researchers detail the global growth of glacial meltwater lakes. The EPA revises an Obama administration rule on polluted wastewater from coal-fired power plants. The EPA forms a new western office to focus on mining cleanups and announces two water pollution-prevention projects along the U.S.-Mexico border. The EPA provides research funding to study PFAS […]

As Pandemic Amplifies Financial Stress for Water Utilities and Customers, North Carolina Governor Announces Financial Aid

State-ordered shutoff protections have expired, customer debt is rising, and some utilities face revenue shortfalls.

Hurricane Laura Critically Damages Louisiana Drinking Water Facilities

Nearly a week after the Category 4 storm, dozens of water systems are not operating, and about 20 suffered significant damage. It may be weeks before they are repaired. By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue Officials with the Louisiana Department of Health said on Tuesday that over 70 drinking water systems in the state are […]

Federal Water Tap, August 31: CDC Sets Up National Sewage Surveillance for New Coronavirus

The Rundown CDC arranges a hub for wastewater monitoring for the pandemic response. A USGS study finds urbanization around San Antonio is polluting the Edwards Aquifer. Senate Democrats release a report on climate change and the economy. The USDA issues a final rule for mapping wetlands on farmland, while the EPA extends the deadline for […]

Federal Water Tap, August 24: Groundwater Flooding in California

The Rundown U.S. Geological Survey researchers map groundwater flood risk in California. The Pebble Mine runs into trouble. The Army Corps begins the environmental review process for a San Francisco flood risk study and a Delta tunnel study. A federal lead advisory committee will hold a public meeting. And lastly, two tropical storms point toward […]

Federal Water Tap, August 17: Colorado River Forecast Triggers Small Cuts for 2021

The Rundown Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico must make small cuts in Colorado River water use next year, according to the Bureau of Reclamation’s forecast. The Energy Department proposes to loosen showerhead efficiency standards. U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials are concerned that groundwater pumping for the Trump administration’s border wall will harm endangered species in southern […]

After More Than Two Decades, Landmark New York City Watershed Protection Plan Is Working

An expert panel says investments to prevent pollution have been a success, but face new challenges.