“The current heat wave over California, Nevada, Arizona and New
Mexico has temperatures hitting triple digits, with little relief
at night. Hot weather is also baking the rest of the far West,
including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and parts of Utah and
“One of the deadliest wildfires in a generation vastly expanded
Monday to cover more than 8,000 acres, sweeping up sharp slopes
through dry scrub and gnarled piñon pines a day after fickle
winds and flames killed 19 firefighters.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the
National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, U.S. Department of Agriculture and National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
From the National Drought Summary:
“For a second consecutive week, California sees a push of D2
[drought-severe intensity] across all of the Sacramento Valley
and points eastward into more of both the Cascades and the Sierra
“State and local governments widely condition permit approvals
on some kind of ‘mitigation’ – changing the design, enhancing
some other piece of land or paying a mitigation fee.
“But in a narrow 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has now
made such negotiations much less likely, making it easier for
landowners to challenge these kinds of conditions and fees and
leading to more litigation.”
“In a victory for advocates of private property rights, the U.S.
Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that governments may owe
compensation to property owners who are denied permits to develop
their land. … The case is Koontz v. St. Johns River Water
Management District, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 1447.”
“President Obama laid out an ambitious campaign to address
climate change Tuesday, mapping a course that would bypass
Congress to cut emissions from hundreds of coal-fired electric
power plants and setting the stage for a possible rejection of
the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.”
“In a teleconference on Wednesday, June 26, Secretary of the
Interior Sally Jewell and Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes will
join scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to release
the first-ever detailed national geologic carbon sequestration
“A veteran western water reporter says news entities in the
West are not doing their job.
In a Columbia Journalism Review interview posted May 16,
Arizona Republic and Las Vegas Review Journal reporter Shaun
McKinnon said, “Water reporters are definitely an endangered
group of people. It’s too bad because we are getting into this
time when it’s probably a bigger issue than it ever has been.