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National Water Resources Association


Annual Conference: November 7-10



Federal Water Seminar: April 3-5


Date: August 30, 2005
To: NWRA Members, Congressional and Federal Staff, Washington Representatives
From: Peter Adams, Legislative Assistant

The NWRA Daily News is a collection of press releases, news articles and other Western water related issue items prepared for and circulated to members of the National Water Resources Association (NWRA), Congressional and Federal Staff and Washington Representatives each business day. Those receiving the NWRA Daily Report are encouraged to submit news items to the NWRA office for inclusion in the Daily. Should you have an article you would like circulated, please e-mail our office at nwra@nwra.org or fax our office at (703) 524-1548, if you have any questions, please call (703) 524-1544.




Senator, Cabinet members discuss collaborative conservation in St. Louis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Susan Wheeler (202) 224-5150

August 29, 2005

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo delivers remarks tomorrow in St. Louis, Missouri, to a national conference on conservation issues attended by members of President George W. Bushs Cabinet. The Conference on Cooperative Conservation, sponsored by the White Houses Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), invited Crapo to speak and participate in discussion groups because of his work in collaboration in solving environmental issues and his efforts to update the Endangered Species Act by focusing on collaborative and consensus-building efforts.

The conference will show that collaboration is hard work and that it does work for resolving conflict. Success stories and works in progress from across the country will be represented, and these are the type of solutions on the ground that are directing the Congress toward improvements in the Endangered Species Act, the Farm Bill, and other laws, Crapo said. These case studies show we can get more done for endangered species, for the environment and those who live and work on the land when we work together rather than having court orders determine the outcome.

Crapo co-chairs an ESA work group with Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) and is working with Senator Lincoln Chaffee (R-Rhode Island), Chairman of the Senate subcommittee on ESA issues, House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-California) and others on draft legislation to improve the ESA by prioritizing incentives for landowners, collaborative efforts, involvement by state and local entities, resolving funding questions, and other issues.

Crapo will join Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson during work sessions designed to facilitate President Bushs directives that five Federal agencies implement cooperative conservation guidelines with an emphasis on including local participation.

Crapo will speak Tuesday morning and participate in work sessions Wednesday. While at the conference, he will visit with Idahoans involved in conservation efforts such as Joyce Dearstyne of Elk City, Steve Thorson of Twin Falls, and Roy Prescott of Jerome. Dearstyne directs the Framing Our Community Program, which is reducing forest fuel loads while creating economic benefits to the local community. Her Jobs in the Woods Program created 15 jobs and $275,000 in economic development.



Las Vegas eyes rural Nevada's aquifers, triggering a debate about the future of this arid region



August 28, 2005

The valley below Nevada's SnakeĀ mountains should not have much to fear from Las Vegas. Its dun-colored terrain daubed with the green of shrubs, meadow grasses and crops lies some 200 miles north of the roaring, metastasizing metropolis for which the state is most famous. But the 1.7 million people of greater Las Vegas may have designs on the fewer than 1,000 people of Snake Valley--or rather, on their water.

As one of the fastest-growing population centers in the country, Las Vegas has a powerful thirst. Every month 5,000 to 7,000 newcomers arrive to retire or find jobs, meaning the already swollen population could double in 20 to 30 years. Though water-conservation measures have reduced the city's annual consumption since 2002, they cannot contain such explosive growth. So Las Vegas has gone looking for its water farther from home.

For the remainder of this article see: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1098962,00.html


New twist: Officials will reduce high-low water fluctuations in hopes of restoring the environment for native fish species

By Joe Baird

The Salt Lake Tribune


They will be slowing the flow at Glen Canyon Dam this week, the latest installment in a series of attempts to analyze and ultimately revive the habitat for endangered native fish species in the lower Colorado River.

Beginning Thursday and continuing through Saturday, the Bureau of Reclamation - which operates the dam - will start reducing Glen Canyon's high-low water fluctuations to roughly half of what they have been this month. The lower flows will continue for the following three weeks, then bureau officials will smooth the releases to a steady level before resuming the reduced fluctuations in October.

The flow adjustments are all part of a larger scheme by federal officials to restore the Colorado River to something closer to its natural habitat in the Grand Canyon, with the goal of reviving fish species such as the humpback chub. This week's flow test follows a Glen Canyon release last November in which flows were substantially increased in a bid to wash sediments down the river to create the sandbars and backwaters that young native fish need to survive.

For the remainder of this article see: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_2982114?rss


By Dale Kasler -- Bee Staff Writer

Published 2:15 am PDT Tuesday, August 30, 2005

With gasoline prices already on the rise, Hurricane Katrina made a bad situation worse Monday for motorists in California and elsewhere.

On a chaotic day in the nation's energy markets, Katrina crippled Gulf Coast energy production, briefly sending crude oil over the $70-a-barrel threshold for the first time. The price retreated after it appeared that most oil and gas facilities had survived Katrina, but analysts said it will be awhile before a true damage assessment is possible.

"It's a little early to know how bad it is; I would expect it's bad," said David Hackett, an industry consultant at Stillwater Associates in Irvine. "There's certainly no good news out there yet."

For the remainder of this article see: http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/energy/story/13493827p-14334451c.html


By Dale Kasler -- Bee Staff Writer

Published 2:15 am PDT Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit by California officials accusing Canadian electricity generator Powerex Corp. of $850 million in price gouging during the 2000-01 energy crisis.

In a rare defeat for California officials in their quest for billions in refunds, U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. of Sacramento said the state's claim should be taken to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

"FERC has exclusive jurisdiction to determine 'just and reasonable' wholesale energy rates," Burrell wrote in his decision.

For the remainder of this article see: http://www.sacbee.com/content/business/story/13493818p-14334452c.html

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