News Briefs: President Trump Signs Colorado Drought Contingency Plan Into Law

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, two podcasters lobby to rename a water treatment facility after Britney Spears

President Donald Trump recently signed off on a piece of bipartisan legislation that aims to help manage ongoing drought conditions and climate change impacts throughout the Southwest.

The signing of the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan into law will cut back on water use in the Colorado River, which serves 40 million Americans as a water source, in an effort to keep reservoirs Lake Powell and Lake Mead from falling too low.

Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) had previously hailed the Senate’s passage of the bill. “This bill is a bipartisan, multistate solution to a multistate problem, and nothing should stand in the way of it becoming law as soon as possible.”

The Drought Contingency Plan — an agreement between Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, California, New Mexico and Nevada — establishes voluntary water conservation measures that will help manage prolonged drought conditions and regional climate change impacts. The alternative to the plan would likely include dramatic water delivery cuts should reservoir levels fall below certain thresholds.

President, Congress Agree to $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

President Trump and Democratic leaders from the House and Senate say they’ve reached an agreement to pursue an infrastructure bill with funding up to $2 trillion.

“That was different than some of the other meetings that we’ve had,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters, according to The Hill. “This was a very, very good start. We hope it will go to a constructive conclusion.”

The infrastructure package — if Congress and the White House can find a way to pay for it — would fund improvements for roads, bridges, waterways and broadband Internet.

Record Flooding Pushes Iowa WWTP Past Capacity

Record flooding has caused a wastewater treatment plant in Davenport, Iowa, to reach capacity, and emergency management officials are pumping untreated wastewater into nearby rivers.

Officials are hoping that pumping the water elsewhere will prevent backups in cities surrounding the area, according to the Scott County Emergency Management Agency.

“Officials are trying to find other relief mechanisms and will employ them as soon as possible,” the agency wrote in a press release, according to the Des Moines Register.

Agency officials are asking residents to avoid the floodwater. The Mississippi River had already hit major flood stage at the beginning of flood season in March.

Podcasters Lobby to Rename Treatment Facility After Britney Spears

In a bit of news on the lighter side, two podcast personalities recently made headlines for lobbying the city council of Manhattan Beach, California, to rename its water treatment plant the Britney Spears Toxic Water Treatment Center.

The name is in reference to Spears’ hit song “Toxic,” and after asking the city council to consider the name change, one of the podcasters delivers an a cappella rendition of the song from behind the podium. If you’re into that sort of spectacle, you can watch the video below:


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