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2003 Regional Issues

News of water issues that affect a wide region

December, 2003  

EPA approves phosphorus agreement between Arkansas and Oklahoma. Pact regulates chicken waste that pollutes Illlinois River. The Morning News 12/31/03

Virginia lawmakers may strip state agency of its power to approve water projects. Action comes after agency tried to block construction of a reservoir. Hampton Roads Daily Press 12/30/03

Colorado's large, urban water utilities seek a united water approach from urban lawmakers. Education meeting set for Jan. 6. Rocky Mountain News 12/30/03

Governors of New Mexico and Texas hope to meet with their counterparts in Mexico to draft an agreement for use of the Rio Grande water.  AP/Star-Telegram 12/29/03

South Florida Feature: Where has all the water gone? The Tallahassee Democrat 12/22/03

Arizona water official hopeful agreement will be reached soon in regional water allocation dispute. It's the Gila Valley Irrigation District vs. the San Carlos Apache Irrigation and Drainage District--and several hundred otherrs. Eastern Arizona Courier 12/21/03

Green Bay, Wisconsin's new water commission looks for ways to negotiate with seven suburbs. Old commission couldn't find a way to provide water to surrounding communities. Green Bay Press-Gazette 12/20/03

In a surprising setback to farmers and barge shippers along the lower Missouri River, federal scientists confirm need for lower flows. Full impact of decision not immediately clear. AP/San Francisco Chronicle 12/18/03
EPA brokers an end to "very acrimonious" water dispute between Arkansas and Oklahoma. Arkansas has 10 years to control pollution from chickens. Fort Smith Times Record 12/18/03

Federal officials sign papers for biggest transfer of water from farms to city in U.S. history. San Diego to get 3.2 million gallons of Colorado River water from Lake Havasu, Ariz., the first trickle in a 75-year agreement. AP/Herald Tribune 12/19/03

Mitchell South Dakota adds Missouri River to its water sources. AP Wire 12/17/03

Missouri River hits record lows at Kansas City. Utility officials said they don't expect problems with water intakes.  AP/St. Louis Post Dispatch 12/16/03

Iowa congressman says he'll introduce a bill to give Congress, not the courts, authority to tell the Corps of Engineers how to manage the Missouri River. Congressman opposes adjusting river levels to aid upstream states.  Daily Nonpareil 12/15/03

Las Vegas backslides on conserving water. The hot, arid valley of conspicuous human excess, once was Utah water officials' role model.  Salt Lake Tribune 12/15/03

Water users may be tapped to cover the cost overruns in the $500 million Colorado-New Mexico Animas-La Plata water storage project.  AP/Casper Star-Tribune 12/14/03

Corps of Engineers expected to OK dam, reservoir on the Rio Grande. It's a few miles from Brownsville, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.  Star-Telegram 12/13/03

Water Words: Mexico and U.S. disagree over how much Colorado River water goes to Mexico.  Arizona Republic 12/12/03  

California Congressional leader says Colorado needs to learn how to store Colorado River water, or California will use it.  AP/Casper Star Tribune 12/12/03

Often cast as polluters of Florida's Lake Okeechobee, farmers are offering to use their ponds and empty fields to store storm water to help avert ecological damage to the overfilled lake and coastal estuaries. Sun-Sentinel 12/11/03 

Five-year drought in the Rockies may mean less Colorado River water for Nevada and Southern California. "Hard landing" possible in 2005. New York Times 12/12/03

Supplying water to Denver's southern suburbs could cost $2.5 billion to $4 billion.  Denver Business Journal 12/11/03

Federal reclamation chief signs pact in Las Vegas governing the use of Colorado River water in Southern California.  AP/San Francisco Chronicle   12/11/03

U.S. Supreme Court rules Virginia may take water from the Potomac River to supply fast-growing suburbs without getting permission from neighboring Maryland.  AP/Newsday 12/9/03

New Mexico Senator Domenici to hold hearings next year on cost leap of Animas-La Plata Project. The Colorado-New Mexico project went from $338 million to $500 million.  Durango Herald 12/8/03

The Navajo Nation, the state of New Mexico and the federal government reach a proposed settlement of the 30-year battle over water claims in northwest New Mexico. San Juan River agreement still must be ratified by all three. Arizona Daily Sun 12/7/03

Feature: Any day now, people across San Diego County will be able to pour themselves a big glass of history. First drops due from the Imperial Valley. It's the linchpin of an historic California agreement to cut use of the Colorado River.  North County Times 12/7/03

Council of 100: Water plan is not so bad. Florida north/south water issues. Ocala Star Banner, 12/5/03

Florida governor's advisor defends water sharing plan. Says news media over reacted. Ocala Star Banner 12/5/03

New Mexico's San Juan Water Commission says it can't afford its share of the proposed Animas-La Plata water project. One official suggests state funding.  AP/Casper Star Tribune 12/4/03

Feature: Florida's north vs. south water wars illustrate the political heat that comes with protecting local water supplies.  Gainesville Sun 12/4/03

Texas negotiating to sell water to growing communities in the central part of the state.  AP/Star Telegram 12/3/03

Green Bay, Wisconsin city council approves replacements for water commission members fired by the mayor. Two of those ousted, are back. The Green Bay News 12/3/03

The community of Hobart, Wisconsin won't join seven other Green Bay suburbs in a project to bring Lake Michigan water to its residents.  Green Bay Press Gazette 12/2/03

Colorado lawmakers discuss options after defeat of $2 billion water referendum.  AP/The Casper Star-Tribune 12/1/03

November 2003  

The biggest long-term water concern for Corpus Christi isn't finding new sources of fresh water. It's protecting the sources it has from other cities and from harmful regulations.  Corpus Christi Caller-Times 11/30/03

Feature: Saving the Ogallala. Some Kansas farmers may give up irrigation.  Reuters/Boston Globe 11/30/03

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue moves for state's first comprehensive water-management plan. Online Athens 11/30/03
New Mexico think tank proposes water reserve. KOBTV 11/30/03

Albuquerque mayor quits as chair of regional Water Utility Authority. Says he'd like to quit the whole thing, but law won't let him.  Albuquerque Tribune 11/29/03

Plan to sell state-owned water steams West Texas residents.  AP/Houston Chronicle 11/29/03

Massive cost overruns on the Colorado-New Mexico Animas-La Plata project were caused by years of inadequate estimates, design changes and misapplication of federal law, report says.  AP/The Casper Star-Tribune 11/24/03  

Details of the Animas-La Plata water project.  AP/San Francisco Chronicle 11/26/03

South Carolina may not be able to reach water agreements with North Carolina and Georgia because it doesn't regulate enough water use.  AP/Herald Tribune 11/24/03

Southern Nevada will ring in the New Year with a ''drought alert'' due to falling water levels at Lake Mead.  AP/Casper Star-Tribune 11/21/03  

Florida's north-south water transfer plan meets sea of protest.  St. Petersburg Times 11/21/03

Interior Department investigation to find out why Bush administration removed scientists from Missouri River study.  AP/Aberdeen News 11/21/03

New Georgia water board gives itself just 45 days to come up with a state water plan.  Morris News Service/Athens Banner-Herald 11/20/03

Ute Water Project making progress, local officials say. Washington meeting with New Mexico Senators leaves impression a well-organized water project would be encouraged.  Portales News-Tribune 11/20/03

West Texas residents upset by state plan to lease water rights on

government-owned land.  AP/Star Telegram 11/20/03 

Green Bay, Wisconsin mayor says he had to fire the entire town water commission to bring about a solution to regional problems. Commission needs new thinking in its dealing with suburbs.  Green Bay News-Chronicle 11/19/03

Corps of Engineers releases latest biological review of Missouri River. Upstream lawmakers say it favors downstream interests.  AP/San Francisco Chronicle 11/17/03

Corps press release 11/17/03

Corps fact sheet 11/17/03

Conservation groups label Corps' Missouri River assessment dead on arrival.  Press Release 11/17/03 

California water distribution impacted by 'Napa Accord.' Everyone is watching to see how well it works.  Napa Valley Register 11/17/03

Residents rally against plan to ship northern Florida water to the south. "Mismanagement and greed" behind plan by governor's advisors, opponents say.  Ocala Star Banner 11/17/03

Kansas water engineer puts strict limits on new water well drilling in Western Kansas. Goal is to protect the diminishing Ogallala Aquifer.  AP/Lawrence Journal-World 11/16/03

Feature: While everybody else wants to use water from the Rio Grande, an El Paso area rancher is giving some back.  AP/Star Telegram 11/16/03  

Corps or Engineers reports low October upper Missouri River runoff dropped the water level in the six main stem reservoirs to a record low.  AP/Aberdeen News 11/16/03  

South Dakota's congressional delegation has asked for a meeting with the secretaries of Interior and the Army to discuss Missouri River plan. Lawmakers concerned that scientists were removed from the project.  The Plainsman 11/14/03

South Florida water managers explore a new, quicker Everglades restoration plan. Goal is to relieve Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers from damaging blows of stormwater.  Sun-Sentinel 11/13/03 

Colorado's attorney general offers a new plan to solve state's water fights. "Conjunctive use" in wet years would bring western water to Denver's suburbs.  Denver Business Journal 11/13/03

Colorado River lawsuits: Less than two months after an historic water-sharing agreement is signed, two law suits are filed. California's Imperial County was cut out of negotiations to create the pact, the suits allege. Los Angeles Times 11/12/03

Texas lieutenant governor appoints committee to study water rights on leased state lands.  AP/Star-Telegram 11/12/03

Texas agriculture commissioner warns state must guard against water speculators drying up rural Texas aquifers.  San Antonio Express-News 11/6/03  

Draft of New Mexico's statewide water plan available for public review. Goal is better water management.  Albuquerque Tribune 11/5/03

New Mexico officials question local leaders about Ute Water Project. Particularly concerned about local ability to cover costs, says one community leader.  Clovis News Journal 11/4/03

Water in short supply in western Kansas, but plentiful in the northeast.  Topeka Capital-Journal 11/2/03  

Water, Water, Water: Shrinking supply stirs controversy over future needs in the Texas Panhandle. Ogallala Aquifer shrinking.  Amarillo Globe-News 11/2/03

October, 2003

Rio Grande basin water-rights owners are stepping forward to protect water rights.  El Defensor Chieftain 10/31/03

Residents worry about the health of Florida's St. Lucie River. Blast plans for more runoff from Lake Okeechobee. Sun-Sentinel 10/31/03

Mexico has its highest water storage in a decade. Texas report says it could make substantial repayments on its U.S. water debt.  AP/News 8 Austin 10/30/03

NY congressman says a regional water plan should take water from the Hudson River, not Lake Saratoga.  The Saratogian 10/29/03

Texas water district wants to dam the North Sulphur River to increase the northeast Texas water supply.  AP/Star-Telegram 10/28/03 

Draft assessment of Florida's St. John River offers grim forecast. By 2025, excessive chemicals will be in public wells, lakes will shrink, springs that shelter manatees will dry up and wetlands will be without water.  AP/NBC12 10/26/03

Arkansas to set new river and stream water pollution limits. Could settle year-long dispute with Oklahoma.  TheHometownChannel 10/24/03

Pueblo, Colorado water group seeks better use of stored Fryingpan/Arkansas project water. Says its not diverting water from the western slope. Sentinel 10/22/03 

Will proposed Cooperative Agreement between Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado hold up over time? Professor says good science needed when determining water policy.  The Independent 10/22/03

Five Arkansas mayors offer Oklahoma a deal on phosphorus contamination in the Illinois River.  Morning News 10/21/03

Feature: Letters from government officials go back and forth but its words written more than 100 years ago that drive Alamogordo, New Mexico water negotiations.  Alamogordo News 10/17/03

Judge blocks Atlanta-Corps of Engineers water deal. Florida wants U.S. Supreme Court to decide water allocations for Georgia, Alabama and Florida.  Tallahassee Democrat 10/17/03

Federal judge throws out Georgia-Corps of Engineers water agreement. Florida and Alabama opposed the plan that let Georgia take more water from Atlanta-area reservoir.  Tallahassee Democrat 10/16/03

South Carolina needs to protect its water interests upstream and work out agreements with Georgia, says lawmaker.  AP/The State


South Florida communities settle wastewater overcharge dispute.  Sun-Sentinel 10/16/03

Connecticut officials praise regional water sharing agreement between the Mohegan tribe and surrounding communities.  The Day 10/15/03

Green Bay may offer suburbs a new twist on water negotiations.  Green Bay Press-Gazette 10/13/03

Six Connecticut communities and Mohegan tribal officials plan for what they say is a finalized version of an ambitious Thames River water sharing project.  Norwich Bulletin 10/12/03

Texas and New Mexico say they'll work together on Pecos River water issues.  KOB-TV/AP 10/11/03

U.S. Supreme Court justices pepper lawyers for Maryland and Virginia with questions. What does 400 year old charter really mean to Potomac River water rights.  Connection News 10/9/03

U.S. Justices consider Maryland vs. Virginia dispute on use of Potomac River. "If Maryland prevails, they can control growth and development in Virginia," argues Virginia's lawyer.  NY Times 10/8/03

SAVE H2OPI: Hopis seek their water rights.  Arizona Republic

Spurned Green Bay suburbs may turn to Manitowoc district for water relief.  Green Bay News-Chronicle

Editorial: Missouri compromise possible. "Reasonable people" the key, says Iowa governor.  Great Falls Tribune

Ship north Florida water to the south, governor's advisors recommend.  Tampa Tribune

Alabama and Florida ask federal judge to overturn water agreement between Corps. of Engineers and Georgia.  Birmingham News

Desalination may be Atlanta's answer to water growth problems. Could end Georgia, Florida, Alabama water feud.  Morris News Service

Corpus Christi and Austin fight for Texas' Colorado River water rights.  Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Woonsocket and North Smithfield, Rhode Island, head toward a regional water approach.  Woonsocket Call  

Group of 15 Kentucky water utilities working on a plans to help area during drought. City of Danville offers its own proposal.  Advocate Messenger

Green Bay, Wisconsin now offers to sell water to all suburbs. Area towns seeking solution to radium problems.  Green Bay Press-Gazette


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