Courts Could Affect Uses of Lake Lanier
Decisions from two federal courts could affect the use of water in Lake Lanier. In a case before the Supreme Court, Georgia is seeking validation of it’s agreement with the Corp of Engineers to use the lake as a water supply. A U.S. District Court is considering whether Congress purposed to use the lake as a drinking water source when it authorized its construction.
Court rulings could settle water war (Atlanta Constitution-Journal, Aug. 21, 2008)
Water Resources News
Environmental Protection Agency Considers What’s Navigable on Los Angeles River
The Environmental Protection Agency has taken the unusual step of starting its own assessment of whether the upper reaches of the Los Angeles River and its tributaries are traditional navigable waters. Such a determination would affect whether the federal Clean Water Act would apply to the waterways. The Corp of Engineers has already determined that the lower 50 miles of the river are navigable.
Los Angeles River may get protection through the Clean Water Act (Los Angeles Times, Aug. 19, 2008)
McCain Backs Off Renegotiation of Colorado River Water Compact
Sen. John McCain, presumptive Republican nominee for president, recently backed off comments he made indicating support for a gradual renegotiation of an agreement that has governed water rights and use along the Colorado River since 1922. He says his comments were misunderstood and he does not support a change to the agreement. Reaction to the concept of renegotiating was largely negative in the affected states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) and Democrats have sought to make it a campaign issue in the region.
McCain now says Western water pact should stand (National Examiner [Associated Press], Aug. 20, 2008)