Rockies Today, Dec. 3

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Experts: Lack of a plan a fundamental part of world's water crisis
The United Nations reports that groundwater usage has tripled over the past 50 years, and experts warn that if steps aren't taken to quantify the usage of groundwater to ensure potable water aquifers are replenished, there could be serious regional consequences. An indepth examination of the world's water supply, its threats and the need for a plan.
Christian Science Monitor; Dec. 3

USDA official tells Western governors collaboration key on wildfire fights
At a meeting of the Western Governors Association in Arizona, Harris Sherman, an undersecretary of the U.S Department of Agriculture who oversees the U.S. Forest Service, talked about the worsening effects of wildfires, how states and the federal government are working together to lessen the severity of wildfires, and how utilities are entering negotiations to help reduce the risk of wildfires to protect power lines.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Dec. 3

Drought of 2012 carrying over into Colorado's new water year
Water managers begin a new year on October 1, and in Colorado, the 2013 water year is picking up where the drought of 2012 ended, with little precipitation reported in the first two months of the new water year.
Aspen Times; Dec. 3

USFWS to hold meetings in 3 states on Bear River conservation plan
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will take public comments at six meetings scheduled in December on its proposal to buy conservation easements on 500 miles of the Bear River in Wyoming, Idaho and Utah.
Deseret News; Dec. 1

U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments over runoff from logging roads today
A lawsuit filed in Oregon seeking to require companies to control runoff from logging roads to protect water quality is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hear arguments in the case today.
Portland Oregonian (AP); Dec. 3

Alberta OKs Syndcrude's plan to turn tailings pond into clean lake
Syncrude has been working on technology to clean up its water in small tailings ponds for 25 years, and the company now has Alberta's approval to use that technology on Base Mine Lake, a three-square-mile lake, with plans to use natural processes to clean up the oily sludge at the bottom and have the water able to support aquatic life over the next decade.
Edmonton Journal; Dec. 2

Canadian commission declines to set wildland-urban interface building codes
The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes failed to reach a consensus on a proposal to require homes built in fireprone areas of the country to be built using materials that are less flammable and to impose density restrictions, as well as a requirement that areas around homes be kept free of trees and brush.
Edmonton Journal (Canadian Press); Dec. 2

Mountain West News is a project of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at The University of Montana. It provides a daily snapshot of news and opinion in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, giving the changing mountain West a tool to understand itself and a platform for the exchange of ideas.

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