January 25, 2013 |
ALBUQUERQUE - The muddy Rio Grande isn't much to look at as it meanders through southern New Mexico to the Texas border, but its waters are a high-stakes prize in a new legal row unfolding between the neighboring states. This month, Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its complaint that New Mexico has been diverting water it is obligated to send downstream under the 75-year-old Rio Grande Compact. By allowing its residents to sink nearby wells and pump water from the river, "New Mexico has changed the conditions that existed in 1938 when the compact was executed," the Texas complaint charges.
January 10, 2013 |
"A Dark Truth" is a would-be eco-thriller as forgettable as its generic title. Writer-director Damian Lee might have thought he had something to say about Third World water rights but this whole wan enterprise has little to impart except that - wait for it - greed is bad. And so is this unconvincing potboiler. Andy Garcia stars as Jack Begosian, an ex-CIA agent holed away in Toronto as a half-there family man and platitudinous radio talk show host. But when the co-heir (Deborah Kara Unger)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 2012 |
CALEXICO, Calif. - What's in a name? When it comes to the All-American Canal, apparently everything. Built in the 1930s, the 80-mile-long canal brings water from the Colorado River to the farmland of the Imperial Valley, transforming a rocky desert in California's southeast corner into one of the world's most bountiful agricultural regions. It replaced a canal in Mexico that once ferried water west and supplied farmers on both sides of the border. By building a new canal entirely in the U.S., Imperial Valley farmers and landowners, and the politicians who supported them, were asserting independence from their southern neighbor and, indirectly, claiming dominance over the river.
November 19, 2012 |
Los Angeles owes an old debt to the Owens Valley. It was there, a century ago, that representatives of this ambitious city quietly bought up water rights from unsuspecting farmers and then diverted the Owens River into a newly built aqueduct that brought Sierra snowmelt south and made Los Angeles possible. Owens Lake was emptied so that Los Angeles might prosper. But how far does that debt extend? Is Los Angeles forever on the hook for the actions of its forefathers? And to the extent that it is possible to restore some of the Owens Valley, what would make it whole?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 2012 |
Otto R. Skopil Jr., whose 40-year career as a federal judge included historic rulings on California water rights and the right of an Irvine teacher with AIDS to remain in the classroom, died Thursday at his home in Portland, Ore. He was 93. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, on which he had served since 1979, announced his death but gave no cause. Skopil joined the federal bench in 1972, when President Nixon nominated him to the U.S. District Court in Oregon, and served as the chief U.S. judge in the state from 1976 to 1979, when President Carter appointed him to the appeals court.
August 8, 2012
Re "Is this water project worth the risk?," Editorial, Aug. 6 I agree that the Cadiz water project in the Mojave Desert requires more study. Because the wise use of water is imperative and our future depends on its conservation, let's look at the numbers. An acre-foot contains slightly more than 325,000 gallons, so the minimum draw from the desert aquifer of 50,000 acre-feet annually, as the company proposes, is more than 16 billion gallons of water. If that is "enough water every year to serve 100,000 homes," each residence will have the luxury of about 160,000 gallons, enough for many, many leaky toilets, dripping faucets and lush lawns.