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Government Wants to Control the Water; The new "Oil"

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Australia Buys 35 Billion Liters of Water for Murray Darling

By Madelene Pearson

July 11 (Bloomberg) -- Australia's government bought 35 billion liters of water back from farmers to boost flows in the Murray Darling Basin, home to almost half the nation's farms.

The first direct purchase of water by the federal government for the basin cost an initial A$50 million ($48 million), Penny Wong, minister for climate change and water said today in an e- mailed statement.

Drought in the Murray Darling Basin worsened and inflows into the system in June were the lowest on record, the body that manages the system said yesterday. The government plans to spend A$3.1 billion buying back water to return to rivers in the basin for the environment.

``Purchasing water from willing sellers is a crucial step in supporting healthy rivers and tackling the effects of climate change,'' Wong said in the statement.

McCain says states should control their own water

By KATHY BARKS HOFFMAN | Associated Press Writer
    4:02 PM CDT, July 10, 2008

VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Republican presidential candidate John McCain says Michigan and other Great Lakes states are right to protect their water from dry regions such as his home state of Arizona.

McCain told The Associated Press in an interview after a Michigan campaign stop in suburban Detroit Thursday that he supports the Great Lakes compact. Michigan on Wednesday became the last of the eight states involved to join the compact when Governor Jennifer Granholm signed the compact bill into law.

"I've often had dreams of giant pipe that ended up in my backyard in Phoenix," McCain joked. "But the fact is that any decision concerning water should be made by the people who own the water. That's the states."

McCain says he can't envision a scenario in which Great Lakes water would be shipped elsewhere.

The agreement outlaws diversions of Great Lakes water from their natural drainage basin with rare exceptions, while requiring the states to regulate their own large-scale water use.

The pact still needs approval of Congress and the White House. McCain is among more than 20 members of Congress who have endorsed the compact, as has Democratic presidential candidate and fellow senator Barack Obama.

The Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec have adopted a nearly identical document. They could not join the compact because U.S. states cannot make treaties with foreign governments.

The Council of Great Lakes Governors spent four years negotiating the deal amid rising concern that the worldwide freshwater shortage would lead thirsty regions to tap into the lakes.,0,3233325.story

Friday, July 11, 2008 - 7:30 AM PDT
Schwarzenegger, Feinstein pitch $9.3B water bond proposal
East Bay Business Times

U.S. Sen Dianne Feinstein and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday unveiled a proposal for $9.3 billion in state bonds to build reservoirs, improve water quality, boost conservation and help manage the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The plan, months in preparation, would go to the Legislature for approval, and if approved from there to voters in November, according to published reports.

While many of the players involved in the fight over California's water infrastructure said they needed more details before they decide whether to buy in, the initial response from many was optimistic.

"We strongly support this latest bipartisan effort to kick-start negotiations on a comprehensive water bond," said Timothy Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies, in a news release. "California is in the most severe water crisis in recent history, and there is literally no time to waste. It's hugely important that we have a specific, bipartisan proposal on the table as something we can negotiate around.

"While we have not had time to analyze this proposal in depth," Quinn said, "it appears to be close to the mark in terms of comprehensively addressing the state's water needs. We urge the Legislature to move ahead with its negotiations."

The Republican governor and the senator, a Democrat, took steps as early as February to break a logjam on the issue of capital improvements for water.

The Associated Press reported that the compromise proposal includes $3 billion for reservoirs and other storage projects, with costs to be split between the state and local water providers; $2 billion for projects to use water more efficiently, protect its quality and reduce runoff; $1.9 billion to develop a Delta management plan; $1.3 billion for conservation programs along the Sacramento, San Joaquin and Klamath rivers and the Salton Sea; and more than $1 billion to improve groundwater quality and recycle water.

Sacramento Business Journal

Uh, has any of those clowns considered that they have a several hundred mile long shore line right next to the Pacific Ocean? One word: DESALINIZATION

I have more info on this here:


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