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Corporations Have Rights. Why Shouldn’t Rivers?

Does a river — or a plant, or a forest — have rights? This is the essential question in what attorneys are calling a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit, in which a Denver lawyer and a far-left environmental group are asking a judge to recognize the Colorado River as a person. If successful, it could upend environmental law, possibly allowing the redwood forests, the Rocky Mountains or the deserts of Nevada to sue individuals, corporations and governments over resource pollution or depletion.

The Wet Winter Brought Lots of Water to California. But Fighting Over fish Continues

The wettest winter on record for Northern California filled most of the state’s reservoirs and had the massive Delta water pumps roaring at full tilt for the first half of the year. Despite this seeming abundance of water, the never-ending dispute continues between farms and cities wanting to receive more water and environmental groups fighting for the Delta’s fragile population of tiny smelt. Environmentalists are opposed to a proposal championed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Southern California water interests to ramp up pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta starting next week.

Farmworkers’ Dilemma: Affordable Housing, but Undrinkable Water

September is the time of year that country clubs become ghost towns in Southern California’s Coachella Valley. It’s still too hot for tee times at the valley’s golf courses with temperatures often soaring to the century mark. And while most tourists aren’t flocking to posh Indian Wells or parties in Palm Springs, it’s the busy season for the region’s other industry: date farming. There are veritable forests of date palms growing here – tufts of green feathery fronds poke the horizon in almost every direction.

U.S. and Mexico Update Pact on Sharing Colorado River Water

The United States and Mexico have agreed to renew and expand a far-reaching conservation agreement that governs how they manage the overused Colorado River, which supplies water to millions of people and to farms in both nations, U.S. water district officials said. The agreement to be signed Wednesday calls for the U.S. to invest $31.5 million in conservation improvements in Mexico’s water infrastructure to reduce losses to leaks and other problems, according to officials of U.S. water districts who have seen summaries of the agreement.

Houston Breaks Ground On World’s Largest Water Treatment Plant

Well before Hurricane Harvey brought torrential winds and stormwater into Houston, the city had a reputation for ambitious construction and sprawling development. In a project that demonstrates this city’s spirit, Houston will soon be home to the world’s largest water purification facility, which broke ground earlier this month.

Yosemite Falls Never Stopped Flowing This Summer, and That’s Not Normal

It’s late September and Yosemite National Park’s most celebrated waterfall – Yosemite Falls – continues to put on a show with water plunging 2,425 from its top to the base of the lower falls. This is unusual. Yosemite Falls is as an ephemeral waterfall fed by snowmelt and usually expires for a couple weeks or months in late summer. Scott Gediman, a public information officer for Yosemite, has worked in the park for 20 years and he doesn’t remember the waterfalls ever flowing continuously through the summer into fall.

Delta Tunnels Dead? Southern California Ready to Plow Ahead

Southern California’s mammoth water agency appeared ready to plow ahead with the Delta tunnels project Tuesday, despite a “no” vote by a giant bloc of San Joaquin Valley farmers that could doom the $17 billion proposal. The Metropolitan Water District’s board of directors signaled that it’s ready to vote Oct. 10 on whether to pay for about one-fourth of the tunnels project, a $4 billion commitment. Metropolitan’s general manager, Jeff Kightlinger, urged directors to proceed with a vote as a way of determining whether the controversial project can be salvaged.

US, Mexico Expand Pact on Managing Overused Colorado River

The United States and Mexico have agreed to renew and expand a far-reaching conservation agreement that governs how they manage the overused Colorado River, which supplies water to millions of people and to farms in both nations, U.S. water district officials said. The agreement to be signed Wednesday calls for the U.S. to invest $31.5 million in conservation improvements in Mexico’s water infrastructure to reduce losses to leaks and other problems, according to officials of U.S. water districts who have seen summaries of the agreement.

Lawsuit Accuses MWD of Predatory Water Diversions in Riverside, Imperial Counties

The nation’s largest municipal water provider attempted to illegally divert water toward Southern California cities by buying up and throttling water use on thousands of acres of farmland, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Riverside County Superior Court. The suit was brought by the Palo Verde Irrigation District, which serves parts of Imperial County and Riverside County. It accuses the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California of violating a 2004 agreement that paid farmers not to grow crops on their land, freeing up water for thirsty coastal cities serviced by Metropolitan.