The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has published an article on potential impacts to the Texas economy from water shortages, aptly named Water Scarcity a Potential Drain on the Texas Economy. Texas is experiencing record dry conditions, which is likely to combine with increasing water demands from growing urban areas to create a potentially volatile situation for future water supplies.
Yesterday, the California State Water Resources Control Board issued a Notice of Surface Water Shortage for 2013 addressed to all “Diverters of Surface Water and Interested Persons.” In it, the SWRCB reported on the record dry and warm conditions facing the state during the past two years. The SWRCB reminded water diverters that the California water rights system allocates water in order of chronological priority, and that water shortages could lead to restrictions on the exercise of some water rights in late summer and fall of 2013. The letter included a list of suggested actions for diverters whose water rights are curtailed, such as controlling conveyance losses, improving coordination with other local diverters, conserving water and using alternative water supplies.
In October 2011, I wrote in American Water Intelligence about the decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Tarrant Regional Water District v. Hermann. Last week the US Supreme Court granted certiorari and will hear the case this session. My article from October 2011 is below for background. The case presents an interesting dispute regarding transboundary water management.
My firm has compiled this helpful Water Rights Annual Filings Checklist 2012 to help California water rights holders remember the deadlines for various regulatory filings. The checklist covers all types of water rights, appropriative and riparian, to surface water and groundwater, as well as cessation of use and Department of Fish and Game filings. Due to some irregularities in how the California State Water Resources Control Board collects filings, e.g., setting different deadlines than are in the statute, make sure you read the descriptions below as well as the entries in the table. If you have any questions, please ask.
The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has released a new reform proposal for water resources, entitled Water for Life. While we generally think of the UK as a relatively wet place, Defra identified a number of water challenges facing the nation, including over-abstraction from rivers and groundwater basins, point and diffuse source pollution, projected future population growth and climate change. Water for Life collects a number of more specific reform proposals to form an integrated national water policy for approximately the next 20 years.