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Arizona Lawmakers Under Pressure To Approve Seven-State Colorado River Drought Plan Before Federal Deadline

Years of drought planning between the seven Western states that rely on the overtaxed, climate-withered Colorado River comes down to Arizona lawmakers in the next two-and-half weeks. With a federal deadline of Jan. 31 for the states to forge a collaborative Drought Contingency Plan, Arizona remains the lone holdout. The plans for each of the states — California, Arizona and Nevada in the Lower Basin, and Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming in the Upper Basin — outline strategies for reducing demands on the Colorado River before water storage in the already record-low Lake Mead and Lake Powell drop to catastrophically low levels.

Region Awarded $500K For Water-Related Research Projects

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) recently awarded $500,000 in grant funding to three San Diego projects designed to advance the development of a locally controlled, reliable water supply. The San Diego County Water Authority submitted the region’s proposal in partnership with the city of San Diego, Padre Dam Municipal Water District and Olivenhain Municipal Water District. In August, MWD offered $3.5 million in Future Supply Action Program grants, with a $500,000 cap for each of its member agencies. The San Diego region proposal garnered the maximum amount of funding.

Trump Tempers Talk Of Emergency At Border, But Eyes California Projects For Wall Funds

As the federal government’s partial shutdown became tied on Friday for the longest one ever, President Trump tempered his talk of declaring a national emergency on the southern border that could free him to spend money on a wall there. The president insisted on his power to make the declaration, which could allow him to divert federal funds for other purposes to a wall. Yet after days of resistance from some congressional Republicans, he no longer sounded notes of urgency about taking such action.

In This Water-Starved California Town, One Citrus Farmer Is Trying To Hold On

Citrus groves spread out in rows across the desert in Borrego Springs, forming a lush green oasis against a backdrop of bone-dry mountains. When the grapefruit and lemon trees bloom on Jim Seley’s farm, the white blossoms fill the air with their sweet scent. His father founded the farm in 1957, and Seley has been farming here since 1964. He and his son, Mike, manage the business, and they hope to pass it on to the next generation of Seleys. But the farms of Borrego Springs, like the town and its golf courses, rely completely on groundwater pumped from the desert aquifer.