photo by fox kiyo
Solving water crisis
PUTRAJAYA: THE Federal Government is standing firm by its decision to go ahead with the Langat 2 treatment plant to resolve Selangor’s water crisis despite the stalemate with the state government.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui, in a text message to the New Straits Times, said this was meant for the people’s wellbeing.
“Like it or not, we will proceed with the Langat 2 treatment plant,” said Chin when contacted in Singapore. “The welfare of the people is the Federal Government’s priority.” (Read the full story here.)
Water war in Fairfax County roiled by legal opinion from federal agency
With the City of Falls Church just days away from opening sealed bids submitted by potential buyers of its embattled water utility, a recently issued legal opinion by the federal agency that supplies the city’s water cast doubt on its ability to conclude a deal with private entities.
The chief counsel for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — whose Washington Aqueduct provides Fall Church with water from the Potomac River — has rendered an opinion saying the agency can only sell its water to another governmental entity, Fairfax County officials say.
Earl Stockdale, the Corps’s chief counsel, advised Fairfax County officials that after reviewing a 1947 federal statute, he concluded that Congress gave authority to the Corps to deliver water from the Washington Aqueduct “only to governmental entities,” the e-mail states. He said his May 17 opinion is also consistent with a 1963 opinion issued by the Corps. (Read the full story here.)
Santa Clara Valley Water District under investigation for violating water pollution laws
Silicon Valley’s leading drinking-water provider, which collects millions of dollars from the public to provide clean water, is under investigation for violating state water-pollution laws after repeatedly spilling hydraulic oil into its reservoirs.
Prosecutors from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office have notified the Santa Clara Valley Water District that the agency is facing fines of up to $25,000 in connection with the most recent spill, in early January at Coyote Reservoir.
“Due to the serious nature of the violations and the potential impact on the environment, the District Attorney’s Office has decided that a civil prosecution is appropriate in this case, with the goals being threefold — punishment, deterrence and compliance,” deputy district attorney Tina Nunes Ober wrote in a March 29 letter to water district CEO Beau Goldie. (Read the full story here.)
Food, water scarce in rebel-held Timbuktu
(Reuters) – Under a broiling midday sun, dozens of young men from Timbuktu in northern Mali dig with shovels and pails to clear a sand-choked well, in a desperate attempt to find water.
Once a tourist hotspot known for its holy sites and an annual music festival that only months ago drew U2 lead singer Bono, Timbuktu is now facing a growing humanitarian crisis since al Qaeda-linked gunmen took control.
A local-organized aid convoy, escorted by turbaned rebels on machine-gun mounted pickups, reached the desert town last week to help ease food, water and medical supply shortages. (Read the full story here.)
Forsyth water issue goes down to the wire
Within a week, Forsyth County’s 47,000 water customers could be paying “dramatically higher” rates if a deal is not struck for a new water contract with the City of Cumming.
Two days after the city rejected the county’s fifth offer, county commissioners put together a binding proposal late Thursday they hope Cumming officials will accept.
At stake is the water future of some 170,000 county residents and the economic development of what has been Georgia’s fastest-growing county in recent years. (Read the full story here.)
EPA: Mining could affect quality of water, fish
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The possible failure of a dam holding waste from a large-scale mine near the headwaters of one of the world’s premier salmon fisheries in Alaska could wipe out or degrade rivers and streams in the region for decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a draft watershed assessment released Friday.
EPA regional administrator Dennis McLerran said there was a fairly low risk of that occurring, however, and the more likely impact would be direct loss of habitat from the mining activity itself.
The report responded to concerns about a large copper-and-gold prospect near the headwaters of Bristol Bay. It is a draft, with a final report that could affect permitting decisions perhaps due by the end of the year after public comment and peer review. (Read the full story here.)