staff is recommending the plan in case the agency, which serves 18 million people in six counties, is forced to slash water deliveries this spring in the event of continuing shortages. The current discussion signals growing worries that the region’s water supplies cannot meet demand, due to last year’s record dry weather, an eight-year drought in the Colorado River Basin, and a federal court order last month that sharply reduces water deliveries from Northern California. The proposed formula would determine how much water is allotted to cities and water agencies. Most MWD water is sold to cities at $508 per acre-foot. If a city or agency exceeds its allotment by up to 10 percent, it would be charged a penalty fee of $1,347 per acre-foot. If it uses even more water, the penalty would be higher. Source: http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me- water7jan07,1,2680454.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california
16. January 7, Reuters – (Michigan) EPA halts river clean-up talks with Dow Chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it stopped settlement negotiations with Dow Chemical Co., saying the chemical company has not gone far enough in its clean-up plans for a Michigan river. The EPA had previously extended negotiations that began in October in an attempt to reach a final agreement on the clean-up of cancer- causing dioxins from the Tittabawassee River system near Dow’s Midland, Michigan, headquarters. “EPA is now reviewing its options for ensuring that dioxin contamination in the river system and the Midland area can be fully addressed,” the regional administrator for the EPA said in a statement. Dow responded by saying it was frustrated and disappointed by the decision, noting that agreement on a plan would have resulted in speeding progress toward resolving the situation. Source: http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/46265/story.htm
17. January 6, Durango Herald – (Colorado) Big oil casts big shadow over Colorado’s water future. Stillwater Reservoir, Fourteenmile Reservoir, and Roan Creek Reservoir are all lakes that exist only in the minds of oil company executives and attorneys. The oil companies own legal rights to build and fill these reservoirs, which would be in Colorado’s Garfield and Rio Blanco counties. As the companies take another look at Colorado’s oil-shale deposits, which would require vast amounts of water to develop, they might make those lakes a reality. Their water rights are huge and getting bigger. Shell has been buying large water rights on the Western Slope for the last five years and just completed a major purchase in July. “I’ve seen estimates that oil shale, if it is developed, would consume 100 percent of the remaining water in the Colorado River system,” said a U.S. senator. Source: http://durangoherald.com/asp- b i n / a r t i c l e _ g e n e r a t i o n . a s p ? a r t i c l e _ t y p e = n e w s & a r t i c l e _ p a t h = / n e w s / n e w s 0 8 0 1 0 6 _ 4 . h t m
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Public Health and Healthcare Sector
18. January 7, Reuters – (National) New key to flu’s spread discovered. U.S. researchers have found that that a flu virus must be able to attach itself to an umbrella-shaped receptor coating human respiratory cells before it can infect cells in the upper airways.