Washington Post- Now the U.S. Geological Survey has confirmed everyone’s worse fears. Alaska’s remote northern coast where several native communities live “has some of the highest shoreline erosion rates in the world,” a USGS study released Wednesday said. Results varied along the shore, but more than a yard is being washed off most of the coast each year. In extreme cases, the study said, nearly 30 yards of coast disappeared from some beaches.
New York Times- “If there’s no snowpack, there’s no water,” said Mr. Lessard, a regional manager for the Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency that built and operates a vast network of 476 dams, 348 reservoirs and 8,116 miles of aqueducts across the Western United States. For nearly a century, that network has captured water as it flows down from the region’s snowcapped mountains and moves to the farms, cities and suburbs that were built in the desert. But as the snow disappears, experts say the Bureau of Reclamation — created in 1902 by President Theodore Roosevelt to wrest control of water in the arid West — must completely rebuild a 20th-century infrastructure so that it can efficiently conserve and distribute water in a 21st-century warming world.
Fox News- Saving water doesn't always mean saving money in drought-stricken California. Water departments across California are increasing rates and adding fees because they're losing money as their customers conserve. They say they still have to pay for fixed costs including repairing pipelines and customer service. Agencies are expected to lose $1 billion in revenue under Gov. Jerry Brown's mandatory conservation order for communities to save water during the drought. Dwindling water supplies also mean turning to more expensive sources of water. Santa Barbara increased water rates this month in order to reactivate a desalination plant and recover lost revenue.
Fox News- It took $817 million, two starts, more than six years and one worker's life to drill a so-called "Third Straw" to make sure glittery casinos and sprawling suburbs of Las Vegas can keep getting drinking water from near the bottom of drought-stricken Lake Mead. The pipeline, however, won't drain the largest Colorado River reservoir any faster. It's designed to ensure that Las Vegas can still get water if the lake surface drops below two existing supply intakes.
CBS New York- In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, a new line of defense is being formed off the Jersey Shore to better protect it from the next big storm. As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, a day out on the water is meant for fun, fishing and sun. And to keep it that way, the Army Corps of Engineers has developed a new game plan to better protect our shorelines and keep our waters safe by building coastal resilience.
Circle of Blue- The U.S. Supreme Court granted Mississippi's request to file a lawsuit over groundwater resources shared with Tennessee. Mississippi claims that Memphis, Tennessee, is pumping so much water from the Sparta-Memphis Aquifer, which straddles the state border, that water beneath Mississippi soil is flowing into Tennessee. Mississippi is seeking $US 615 million in damages for the lost water. The state also wants the court to force Memphis to reconstruct its groundwater pumping system. This is Mississippi’s third attempt since 2005 to sue Tennessee over groundwater pumping. The Supreme Court denied Mississippi’s petition in 2010, as did a U.S. District Court in 2005.
Inframanage- Using land sales to fund water infrastructure repair is not a new idea. Officials from Paris to New York City have used this strategy – mostly in the 19th century, when cities were growing most quickly.It will be interesting to see whether or not funding through land sales will make a comeback now, in the 21st century, when so much infrastructure funding is needed.
The Buffalo News- Buffalo’s Outer Harbor nature preserve is entering the homestretch of a five-year demonstration project that began in 2011. The project is designed to eliminate invasive plants and promote native grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees, with hopes that this rare coastal wetland on Lake Erie becomes an even more vibrant and habitable home for birds, waterfowl and other fauna.
WWL- Working to enact the coastal restoration master plan will be a major challenge in the coming years, even with the recently-announced settlement with BP. Four of the major gubernatorial candidates recently spoke about how they would meet that challenge, if elected. Amite Representative John Bel Edwards says, as governor, he would make sure that coastal restoration money is only spent on coastal restoration. "We must budget honestly and responsibly. I will steadfastly honor the statutory dedications and make sure that this money is spent for no other purpose." U.S. Senator David Vitter says it's not only important to ensure coastal restoration funds are used for their intended purpose, but he plans to accelerate three to five key coastal restoration projects in the coastal restoration master plan.