In a recent case the appeals court ruled that, while state law governs groundwater use, if wastewater passes through it on its way to the ocean, rivers or lakes, it is regulated by the Clean Water Act. The February 1 ruling, issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, reflects uncertainty as to how extensive the Clean Water Act should be.
California water regulators would likewater sprinkler to make water restrictions enacted during the state’s drought permanent, according to Daily News. Their plans come as the state appears to be back in drought after a slight reprieve last year.
Many of the nation’s local water systems are failing to meet federal sanitary requirements, according to a new study. Researchers writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences say that every year since 1982, up to 10 percent of the country’s water systems have violated the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. As many as 21 million Americans may have been exposed to unsafe drinking water in 2015 alone.
A pilot program in Colorado is being tested to determine if it can help protect river flows during dry periods.
Even if more snow falls in Colorado later this winter, it might not make up for a record low in precipitation across the state, say meteorologists. In response to this bad news, utilities have stepped up monitoring of reserves to determine how much water they can leave in reservoirs that will not threaten dam capacity if more snow and rain eventually fall.