Western Water Report: February 4, 2007

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DECIDES NOT TO APPEAL COLORADO WATER RULING

The Interior Department’s decision not to appeal a federal court ruling that overturned a 2003 deal that governed the amount of water flowing through Black Canyon National Park means work can now begin on finding how much water the river needs through the canyon to sustain wildlife and other uses. Denver Rocky Mountain News (AP); Jan. 4 article

CONSERVATION GROUP ASKS COLORADO TO REVISE WATER-TEMP RULES

Trout Unlimited is asking the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission to quickly institute new water temperature regulations for the state’s trout streams and lakes to protect aquatic species. Aspen Times; Jan. 5 article

NEW TEMPERATURE REGS SET FOR COLORADO STREAMS

Two new regulations — one temporary and one permanent — that aim to keep Colorado streams cool enough to harbor healthy fish populations were approved by the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission after officials worked on new plans for a couple of years. Denver Post; 1/10 article

COLORADO WATER PANEL SUPPORTS STATE PLAN AND ENCOURAGES ROUNDTABLES

The Colorado Water Conservation Board said it supports a plan to work with local basin roundtables while studying a proposal to send water from the Western Slope to the Front Range. Grand Junction Sentinel; Jan. 25 article

GROUP SET TO CREATE WATERSHED PLAN FOR COLORADO VALLEY

A coalition of conservation groups sponsored by a local utility will create the first comprehensive watershed plan for the Roaring Fork Valley, starting off by looking at the watershed’s current condition. Aspen Times; Jan. 10 article

COLORADO CITY BUILDS WATER RECYCLING PLANT TO INCREASE SUPPLIES

Aurora gets most of its drinking water from snow runoff, but has a plan to build a $754 million project to recycle water from below the Denver Metro Wastewater Reclamation District’s plant on the South Platte River, increasing the Colorado city’s water supply by 20 percent. The river water will be sent through sand and charcoal filters, treated with chemicals and zapped with ultraviolet light. Denver Post; Jan. 23 article

SNOWPACK WAY UP IN COLORADO’S FRONT RANGE MOUNTAINS

Snowpack averages near Colorado Springs are well above average for this time of year, but there are still a few months of winter left, and without the normal snow of late winter, the region could still end up with shortages. Colorado Springs Gazette; Jan. 26 article

WARMING’S EFFECT ON WATER SUPPLIES WORRIES COLORADO OFFICIALS

Water managers and city officials in Colorado are showing concern following scientific studies that show global warming could reduce the amount of water available from spring runoff in the state, and they are looking for other ways to secure needed water. Vail Daily News; Jan. 23

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WYOMING RANCHERS PINE FOR MOISTURE IN 2007

In April of last year, ranchers in Wyoming were cautiously optimistic that deep snowpack and healthy water levels in reservoirs meant the drought that began in 2001 was over, but 2006 was more of the same, and with some reservoirs more than 75 percent empty, they’re hoping things will change in 2007. Casper Star-Tribune; Jan. 5 article

CONSERVATION GROUPS OPPOSE WYOMING CLOUD-SEEDING PLAN

The Bridger- Teton National Forest is taking public comment on a proposed five- year study to be conducted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research to seed clouds in that Wyoming national forest to boost snowfall, an experiment conservation groups oppose because they said it could affect plant and animal ecosystems and pull moisture away from other locations. Jackson Hole News & Guide; Jan. 4 article

MONTANA, WYOMING WATER DISPUTE GOES TO HIGH COURT

Montana filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court against Wyoming, alleging that Wyoming’s overuse of water in the Tongue and Powder rivers has left Montana high and dry. Billings Gazette; Feb. 2 article

NEW MEXICO SNOWPACK BODES WELL FOR WATER SUPPLY

Richard Armijo, a snow surveyor for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said early snowpack in New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains from Santa Fe to Taos to Las Vegas, N.M., means more water in reservoirs this summer. Santa Fe New Mexican; Jan. 5 article

DROUGHT UNDERSCORES NEED FOR WATER MANAGEMENT IN NEW MEXICO

New Mexico’s state engineer said three decades of explosive population growth, along with a recent drought, made state officials realize that they were way behind in putting processes in place to manage the state’s water resources. Santa Fe New Mexican; Jan. 8 article

WATER PLANNING IN THE SOUTHWEST

In the Middle Rio Grande region of New Mexico water planning is taking on a significant character that is open and inclusive. The Interstate Stream Commission approved the 50-year plan =85 by the Middle Rio Grande Water Assembly. OpEdNews, 1/5 article

SANTA FE ON PERMANENT WATER RESTRICTION PLAN

Thousands of homes and businesses are now under permanent water restrictions and a new water rate plan. Water Technology Online, 1/2 article

SANTA FE’S WATER A FOCUS OF N.M. LEGISLATURE

Santa Fe and other local communities in New Mexico are installing water-saving devices and programs to help ease water supply issues, and they are hoping the state Legislature will provide some funding for them. Santa Fe New Mexican; 1/14 article

NEW MEXICO COUNTY’S REQUEST FOR GROUNDWATER SPARKS DEBATE

Over the past four years, Santa Fe County has been buying or drilling wells to supplement its water supply, and now the county is asking the New Mexico State Engineer’s office to transfer water rights to 19 existing and proposed wells to augment county water supplies, but private well owners are opposing the plan. Santa Fe New Mexican; Jan. 24 article

N.M. VILLAGE TO USE RECYCLED WASTEWATER

A small mountain village in southern New Mexico is building a $3 million water reuse project that will treat wastewater to bottled water quality, the first such project in the state. Albuquerque Journal; Jan. 7 article

NEW MEXICO WORKING TO ABATE LONG-TIME TRIBAL WATER DISPUTES

Many tribes in New Mexico have the oldest water rights in the state, but no guarantee of exactly how much water they are entitled to, and three of the largest tribal water rights cases in New Mexico have been dragging on for years, and state lawmakers are reviewing a plan by Gov. Bill Richardson to set aside $12 million as a down payment for those settlements. Santa Fe New Mexican; Jan. 16 article

WATER COORDINATOR IMPROVES MANAGEMENT ON N.M.’S RIO GRANDE

Cynthia G. Abeyta worked for the United States Geological Survey for 22 years testing groundwater along the Rio Grande in New Mexico and now works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service coordinating management of the Middle Rio Grande, acting as a scientist, diplomat and project coordinator. A profile. Santa Fe New Mexican; Jan. 29 article

SNOWPACK IN UTAH’S MAJOR BASINS IS FAR BELOW NORMAL

El Nino years normally bring in extra moisture to the mountains of Utah, but this year’s weather patterns have left all of Utah’s six major river basins with much less snow than normal, which is hurting ski area business as well as water prospects for the warmer months. Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 25 article

UTAH SENATE PANEL OKS BILL TO ALLOW GROUPS TO BUY WATER RIGHTS FOR FISH

The Utah Senate Natural Resources committee approved a measure that would allow private entities to purchase water rights to protect in-stream flows for fish, and allows private water rights holders to lease the water to groups such as Trout Unlimited for the same reason. Deseret News; Jan. 25 article

UTAH, NEVADA ONCE AGAIN DISCUSSING LAS VEGAS WATER PLAN

Mike Styler, the executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources said talks with Nevada about Southern Nevada Water Authority’s plan to pump groundwater from an area on the Utah-Nevada border were once again under way, and Styler said he was optimistic the states would come to some sort of an agreement that would protect Utah’s water rights. Reno Gazette-Journal (AP); Jan. 10 article

UTAH HOUSE PANEL PASSES RESOLUTION TO PROTECT UTAH WATER

Utah Rep. Richard Wheeler, R-Ephraim, conceded that his resolution to urge Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. to wait until scientific studies on water supplies on the Utah-Nevada border are done before signing off on any water agreement with Nevada passed by the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee doesn’t have the rule of law. Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 18 article

PUBLIC HEARING SET ON ARIZONA-NEVADA WATER TRANSFER

The Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings anticipates hundreds of people will attend a series of public hearings on a proposed water transfer from northwest Arizona for development in Mesquite, Nev. Las Vegas Review- Journal; Jan. 23 article

NEVADA GOVERNOR WANTS TO SELL WATER TO BUILD ROADS

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons has asked the Desert Research Institute to provide estimates of the value of water rights that underlie the state’s roads so the state can sell those water rights to fund transportation projects. Las Vegas Review-Journal; Jan. 11 article article

NEW COLORADO WATER PLAN LEANS ON LAKE POWELL DURING DROUGHTS

The Colorado Water Conservation Board recommended the state sign off on a new Colorado River management plan that would rely on Lake Powell water during times of drought instead of curbing use, but that plan also requires downstream states to better live within their means. Grand Junction Sentinel; Jan. 25 article

NEVADA WATER BOARD APPROVES COLORADO RIVER PACT

The seven states that share Colorado River water crafted an agreement that lays out new rules on how the river’s water should be managed during long dry spells, an agreement that the Southern Nevada Water Authority approved on Thursday, and now the matter is under review by the U.S. Department of Interior. Las Vegas Review-Journal; Jan. 19 article

ARIZONA, NEVADA WORK OUT DROUGHT DEAL FOR COLORADO RIVER

If a drought causes a water shortage for states along the lower Colorado Rover, Nevada has agreed to join Arizona in giving up some of its allotted share, and would also pay Arizona $8 million to help secure other water sources, all of which is part of a larger Colorado River multi-state deal. Arizona Republic; Jan. 24 article

SNOWPACK IS AGAIN LOW IN ARIZONA, MARKING MORE DROUGHT

Arizona’s snowpack is at 38 percent, which is still better that this time last year, and the snow that hit Colorado last week mostly fell on the eastern side of the mountains, not in the headwaters of the Colorado River, all of which continues to concern authorities in the Southwest. Arizona Republic; Jan. 5 article

AZ GROUP SENDS WATER PROPOSALS TO LEGISLATURE

The Statewide Water Advisory Group is sending proposals to the Legislature that seek to create a loan fund for rural water improvements and allow local governments to deny subdivisions without adequate water supplies. Prescott Daily Courier, 1/14 article

YUMA’S SHUTTERED DESALINIZATION PLANT SET TO RESTART

A $250 million desalting plant west of Yuma that has sat idle since shortly after it was completed in the early 1990s is set to restart for a test run by June. AP, 1/8 article

INVASIVE SPECIES FOUND IN NEVADA’S LAKE MEAD

Live quagga mussels were found in Lake Mead and two down-river reservoirs, Lake Mohave and Lake Havasu, all in the space of two weeks. article article

AQUEDUCT FIND RAISES ALARM

Divers discovered mussels clinging to the mouth of the Colorado River Aqueduct near Lake Havasu and at the system’s pumping plant a mile into California but it was not known if they are the same aggressive species that has decimated the Great Lakes. State officials were awaiting visual confirmation by a federal wildlife expert to see if they are quagga mussels, which could devastate Southern California’s water supplies and its lakes and rivers. Riverside Press-Enterprise 1/18 article article

INTERIOR DEPT. PLANS MULTI-STATE EFFORT TO CONTAIN INVASIVE MUSSELS

An expert on Lake Mead’s ecology told a panel of state, local and federal water officials that, based on the devastation caused by zebra and quagga mussels caused in the Great Lakes, Arizona, Nevada and California have about a year to prepare for a full-on invasion of the mussels, which clog water pumps and can cause dire effects on lake ecology. Las Vegas Review-Journal; Jan. 24 article

IRRIGATION DISTRICT TO FORGO TRUCKEE RIVER DIVERSIONS TO REPAY TRIBE

The Truckee-Carson Irrigation District will forgo diversions from the Truckee River in January in an effort to repay a water debt owed to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. Reno Gazette-Journal, 1/4 article

PRESIDENT BUSH SIGNS ORDER FOR U.S.-MEXICO GROUNDWATER STUDY

Under a new measure signed into law by President Bush, the U.S. Geological Survey will work with local governments on both sides of the U.S.- Mexico border to conduct an extensive assessment of groundwater supplies. Albuquerque Journal (AP); Jan. 9 article

MONTANA NAMED IN LAWSUIT OVER COALBED METHANE WATER RIGHTS

Northern Plains Resource Council and Tongue River Water Users’ Association members said before the state of Montana can issue a beneficial-use permit for water discharged during coalbed methane operations, the state must first determine who holds senior rights to that water. Billings Gazette; Jan. 18 article

MONTANA LAWMAKER PROPOSES BIG CHANGES FOR BIGHORN RIVER

Montana Sen. Max Baucus said he’ll introduce legislation that sets minimum flows on the Bighorn River, a popular fishing river which flows from Wyoming to Montana, and that calls for the river system to be managed as one unit, requiring Wyoming be more creative in how it manages its portion. Billings Gazette; Jan. 15 article

WYOMING LAWMAKERS STRIKE BACK AT BAUCUS’ BIG HORN RIVER BILL

U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., earned the support of his two Montana colleagues on a bill he introduced to require a minimum flow of water in the Big Horn River to protect trout fishing, but Wyoming’s delegation said the bill would adversely affect reservoir levels in Wyoming and said they would work to revise the legislation. Casper Star-Tribune; Jan. 17 article

CANADIAN MINING CO. SEEKS INPUT FROM DOWN-STREAMERS IN MONTANA

Cline Mining Corp. wants to mine coal from the headwaters of the Flathead River in Canada, and the company, as part of its environmental assessment, is seeking public comment from Montanans, and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and U.S. Sen. Max Baucus will attend the first of two public meetings. Missoulian; Jan. 15 article article

MONTANA LAWMAKERS BEGIN WORK ON STREAM-ACCESS BILL

Sen. Lane Larson, D-Billings, told Montana lawmakers that Senate Bill 78 would address stream access issues as they apply to bridges, but the bill faces an uncertain future. NewWest.net; Jan. 19 article

WYOMING LAWMAKERS MOVE WATER BILLS FORWARD

The full Wyoming Senate has approved a bill that would allow temporary donations of water to keep water in streams for fish, and the House Agriculture Committee will take up a much broader version of a water rights bill that would allow temporary reassignment of a water right for a broad range of uses. Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 1 article

MONTANA CAN FLUSH WATER-RIGHTS FEE BUT SHOULD CONTINUE THE WORK

Two years ago, the Montana Legislature decided to rev up the process to determine who owns what water rights in the state by imposing a modest fee to help fund adjudication proceedings, a fee that many Montanans and lawmakers apparently loathed, and are now seeking to repeal and refund, but no matter what the outcome of that fight, the work to determine water rights must continue. Missoulian; Jan. 23 article

MONTANA LAWMAKERS TACKLE PERMITTING GROUNDWATER WELLS

Several Montana lawmakers are backing a bill to require that all groundwater users, even those whose wells pump 35 gallons-per-minute or less, have a permit from the state, which backers say is long overdue and will keep the issue out of court, but Realtor groups say the law would increase home prices and officials of one state agency says it would increase bureaucracy and paperwork. NewWest.net; Jan. 30 article

MONTANA COMMUNITIES ASK LEGISLATURE TO FUND WATER PLAN

The Central Montana Water Authority has asked the Montana Legislature for $300,000 in the hope of capturing $400,000 in matching federal funds to help build a 225-mile-long pipeline to ship water to several small communities. Billings Gazette; Jan. 19 article

IDAHO GOV PROPOSES WAYS TO KEEP MORE WATER IN THE STATE

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter said that he’d rather look at ways of securing more water instead of ways to divide a scarce supply, and told the Idaho Water Users Association he’s consider more and bigger dams and ways of recharging the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer. Idaho Statesman; Jan. 25 article

IDAHO TRIBE TO BOOST STEELHEAD HARVEST NUMBERS

The Nez Perce Tribe in northern Idaho said it would begin increasing the number of steelhead it harvests from various reaches of the Snake River using gill nets because the number of fish moving in the river has increased. Idaho Statesman (AP); Jan. 14 article

IDAHO FARMERS SAY DAIRIES TAKING MORE THAN THEIR SHARE OF WATER

Members of the Southwest Irrigation District told Cassia County commissioners that dairies in the Idaho county are threatening groundwater supplies near Burley Butte and in Raft River, and urged the commissioners to put a moratorium on any new dairies. Twin Falls Times-News; 1/4 article

NASA TAPS IDAHO WATER EXPERT TO HELP DESIGN SATELLITE

University of Idaho Professor Rick Allen uses satellite images to track how much water is being used by Magic Valley irrigators each season, and he’ll use that expertise to help NASA build its next image satellite. Twin Falls Times-News; Jan. 16 article

NEZ PERCE ISSUES SINGLE PERMIT FOR GILL NET FISHING ON IDAHO RIVER

Gill nets kill all fish caught in them, but a Nez Perce wildlife official said the single gill net permit issued by the Idaho tribe should not pose a threat to the endangered wild Snake River steelhead. Idaho Statesman (AP); Jan. 19 article

THE RIVER DRY

The damming of Washington state’s Lower Snake River has led to a rather odd juxtaposition: as wheat floats by on barges, a dwindling population of salmon hits the road in trucks. Fishers, fearing they’ll become endangered, are lobbying for the dams’ removal; farmers, equally concerned about livelihood, are fighting to maintain their shipping routes. To spur dialogue, author David James Duncan and green group Save Our Wild Salmon have created a photographic juxtaposition of their own: a crew of fisherfolk, casting their lines into amber waves of grain. article

IDAHO SENATOR FAILS IN BID TO CUT SMALL FISH-COUNTING AGENCY

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit struck down an attempt by Idaho Sen. Larry Craig to cut funding for the Portland-based Fish Passage Center, which has documented how the Snake River dams have helped push salmon to the brink of extinction in what Craig calls a biased manner. Washington Post; Jan. 25 article

FEDERAL AGENCIES TIE SALMON RECOVERY TO DAM LICENSE RENEWAL

Before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will renew PacifiCorp’s license to operate four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River, the utility must build new fish ladders and provide other accommodations to ensure salmon can swim freely past those dams. Washington Post; Jan. 31 article

LATEST AQUIFER PUMPING SKIRMISH COULD LEAD TO A MAJOR WATER WAR

As the harried development around San Antonio continues, growth issues are becoming increasingly complex and difficult to resolve =85 This is especially true with a legislative proposal to raise pumping limits on the Edwards Aquifer a whopping 22%, from 450,000 acre-feet to 549,000 acre-feet. San Antonio Express, 1/4 article

TEXAS WATER DISTRICT PROPOSES PLAN TO GET WATER FROM OKLAHOMA

Searching for water to provide for an exploding population base, the Tarrant Regional Water District wants to pump hundreds of millions of gallons of water out of Oklahoma creeks and streams into North Texas. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 1/9 article

LAWSUITS ARE FILED FOR WATER

It may be remembered as the first shots fired in the state’s water wars. Last week the Texas Water Development Board and the city of Dallas sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service =85 The Tarrant Regional Water District also filed suit against two water agencies in Oklahoma, contending a moratorium blocking out-of-state water sales violates interstate commerce laws. Fort Worth Star Telegram, 1/14 article

BUSH APPROVES NM SENATOR’S WATER LEGISLATION

President George Bush signed a bill authored by U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, R-N.M., into law that will help rural communities obtain reliable water service, according to a press release from Washington. Alamogordo Daily News, 1/4

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ARID MOUNTAIN FORESTS ADAPT TO KEEP WATER

Understanding how water behaves in a semi-arid environment could lead to better water retention management for very dry conditions, a U.S. scientist says. ScienceDaily, 1/3 article

WATER SHORTAGE DECLARED FOR 16 FLORIDA COUNTIES

All 16 counties in the Southwest Florida Water Management District are experiencing a ‘severely abnormal’ drought, according to a district report. Charlotte Sun Herald, 1/10 article

FIRST ANNUAL STREAMFLOW SUMMARY AVAILABLE

In a new USGS publication, ‘Streamflow of 2006 =85′ changes in streamflow over the course of 2006 are examined relative to conditions over the past 75 years. USGS, 1/12 article

ALBERTA STUDY FINDS BEAVER DAMS BENEFIT FROG SPECIES

A University of Alberta study found 5,062 boreal chorus frogs, wood frogs and western toads at 54 beaver ponds over a two-year period in the boreal forests of west-central Alberta, while no frogs or toads were found along streams with no beaver dams. Edmonton Journal; Jan. 11 article

AUSTRALIAN PM PLANS TO RESTORE PARCHED RIVERS

Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced plans to spend more than A$10 billion ($7 billion-US) to restore the nation’s ailing rivers, making dwindling water supplies his priority in an election year. article

AUSTRALIAN STATE LEADER SAYS DRINKING WATER MUST BE RECYCLED

An Australian state plans to introduce recycled sewage to its drinking water as a record drought threatens water supplies around the nation. article

ALL OF BRITAIN ON FLOOD ALERT

Britain is on a major flood alert after the Met Office issued a severe weather warning for the entire country. But the constant wet weather could bring one ray of hope — an end at last to water restrictions caused by one of the worst droughts in 100 years. UK Express, 1/11 article

ISRAEL CONTROLS PALESTINIAN WATER RESOURCES

Israel controls water resources in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and seeks to take over water reserves in the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon, according to an Arab League report. Aljazeera.com, 1/1 article

GREECE: LOST WATER TO BE COSTLY

Households will be charged more for wasting water under a presidential decree that is being prepared by the government =85 The EU contends that more than 18,000 people in various parts of Greece are being forced to drink water that is contaminated. Kathimerini, 1/4 article

STUDY REVEALS TRACES OF MERCURY IN EVERY FISH SAMPLED

In a study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency and Oregon State University, researchers who sampled more than 2,700 fish in 12 Western states found traces of mercury in every fish sampled, the highest in fish that eat other fish, and though not all fish had dangerous levels, the scientists still cautioned consumers. The Oregonian; Jan. 24 article

SIERRA CLUB: COLORADO SPRINGS MAKES FALSE CLAIMS ABOUT SEWAGE

The club’s lawsuit and a similar one by Thiebaut allege Colorado Springs has violated the federal Clean Water Act by repeatedly discharging raw sewage, excessive chlorine and nonpotable water into the creek for years. Pueblo Chieftain, 1/11 article

INDUSTRY SAYS WATER RULES WILL CRUSH METHANE DRILLING IN WYOMING

Wyoming coal-bed methane industry officials said that if the state Legislature and Gov. Dave Freudenthal approved proposed new rules regarding water discarded from drilling operations, the whole industry could collapse, but those who back the bill’s goals say that won’t happen. Casper Star-Tribune; Jan. 28 article

BATTLE EMERGES BETWEEN WETLANDS AND A NEW HIGHWAY IN UTAH

The Utah Department of Transportation wants to build a highway connecting I-80 with I-15 near the Salt Lake Airport and northwest Utah County, but the Sierra Club and other conservation groups say the plan would place the road through the northeastern portion of Utah Lake’s wetlands. Deseret News; Jan. 11 article

NEW REPORT STILL SAYS DEVELOPMENT ON MONTANA RIVER COULD BE LIMITED

Another report from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality says that even with cleaner sewer systems installed, growth could be limited along a 39-mile stretch of the Gallatin River between Bozeman and Yellowstone National Park if it is designated an Outstanding Resource Water. Billings Gazette (AP); Jan. 11 article

MONTANA GROUPS DECLARE A TRUCE ON GALLATIN RIVER PLAN

American Wildlands members said the group would end its quest to have a 38- mile stretch of the Gallatin River in Montana designated an Outstanding Resource Water, and would instead work with developers to find a way to protect the waters and allow development, too. Billings Gazette (AP); Jan. 24 article

SCIENTISTS SAY CUTTHROAT THREATENED BY IDAHO MINES

Two scientists released a report last week stating that selenium leaching out of waste rock from phosphate mines in Southeast Idaho are threatening two of the West’s largest remaining populations of Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Idaho Statesman (AP); Jan. 14 article

SCIENTISTS: EDC POLLUTION INCREASING IN IDAHO WATERS

As more development occurs in Idaho and watersheds are fragmented, the increase of a class of chemicals called endocrine disruptor compounds are beginning to show reproductive reversals, and researchers and scientists say the public health issue of this increasing contamination could be especially significant in Idaho, where 95 percent of the population drink groundwater. Boise Weekly; Jan. 18 article

SURVEY FINDS MERCURY IN FISH IN WEST

Scientists looking for fish tainted by mercury found them in every fish and every river they sampled across the West, suggesting that industrial pollution generated around the world is likely responsible for at least some of it. article

FEDERAL POLLUTION DEFINITION GETS COURT CHALLENGE

The National Center for Conservation Science & Policy has joined five other environmental groups in filing a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over a change in the Clean Water Act. Medford Mail- Tribune, 1/1 article

USGS EXAMINES ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF AIRCRAFT DEICERS

The USGS has been examining the relative toxicity to aquatic life from a variety of formulations used to remove or prevent dangerous ice buildup on aircraft. WaterWorld, 1/10 article

REPORT UNDERMINES MINING COMPANIES’ ABILITY TO FORECAST THE FUTURE

A detailed inspection of the “Comparison of Predicted and Actual Water Quality at Hardrock Mines” report released last month showed an interesting correlation between well-managed mining companies and the companies’ ability to accurately assess their mines’ impact on water quality. A perspective. NewWest.net; Jan. 4 article

TWO BRAZILIAN CITIES UNDER SLUDGE AFTER MINE DAM BREAKS

The Brazilian cities of Mirai and Muriae south-west of Rio de Janeiro were buried in sludge as deep as a meter after a mine dam broke pouring out around 2 million litres of mud and water containing bauxite and aluminium sulphate remnants. Playfuls.com, 1/11 article

30% OF YELLOW RIVER FISH SPECIES EXTINCT

Dams, pollution and over-fishing have wiped out a third of the fish species in the Yellow river — China’s second longest waterway. Guardian Unlimited, 1/17 article