Ag Today November 8, 2019
Interior proposes coveted deal to ex-client of agency head [Associated Press]
The Interior Department is proposing to award one of the first contracts for federal water in perpetuity to a powerful rural California water district that had long employed Secretary David Bernhardt as a lobbyist. Conservation groups are demanding fuller disclosure of financial terms and an environmental review of the proposed deal for the California’s Westlands Water District, the nation’s largest agricultural water supplier. The water district serves some of country’s wealthiest and most politically influential corporate farmers….Responding to questions, Interior spokeswoman Carol Danko said the handling of the Westlands’ contract...
Ag Today November 7, 2019
Justices seem uncertain about reach of Clean Water Act [Associated Press]
The Supreme Court seems uncertain about how to decide a closely watched case from Hawaii about the reach of landmark federal clean-water protections….Several justices appeared to be searching for a compromise between environmental groups on one side, and the Trump administration and the local Hawaii government on the other….The question in this case is whether a permit is needed when the pollutant first passes through the soil or groundwater….The justices seemed concerned that a ruling for Maui would provide what Justice Stephen Breyer called a “road map” for polluters to...
Ag Today November 6, 2019
Farmers urged to think big and small to survive groundwater cutbacks [Bakersfield Californian]
The thinking started small and then grew much bigger at a gathering Tuesday in Bakersfield that was intended to provide a "survival toolkit" for farmers and water managers facing drastic restrictions on Central Valley groundwater pumping. Irrigation and other technical specialists opened the meeting by promoting ways to maximize the region's existing water resources….By the end of the day, however, isolationism gave way to calls for unity as speakers asserted that the only real solution was to increase the region's water supply by as much as 10 million...
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