Colorado crisis. Water managers from seven western states are pledging to work with the federal government on plans to conserve and distribute water from the Colorado River. A meeting among water managers in San Diego yesterday made one thing clear: there isn’t enough water available to satisfy everyone’s needs.
The Colorado River is the lifeblood of California and six other western states. But drought, population growth and the demands of farmers from the Imperial Valley to New Mexico are putting unprecedented pressure on the river. Future water shortages are all but inevitable.
Against that sobering backdrop, the Department of Interior and other federal agencies urged urban water managers, farmers, environmentalists and Native American tribes to work together to come up with new conservation plans. The parties will break up into three interstate committees and report back to the feds by the end of the year. The groups will look at things like water re-use, desalination and water banking, as well as discussing ways to equitably parcel out river water.
The process is likely to be contentious – but there was broad agreement that doing nothing is not an option. Last year was the fifth driest on record in areas that feed that Colorado. This year is on track to be the fourth driest. L.A. Times
Death investigation. Four workers with the county’s child protective services have been placed on desk duty following the death of an 8-year-old Palmdale boy who police say was tortured. The boy’s mother and her boyfriend have been charged with murder. Police say they’ve admitted causing his injuries, which included a cracked skull, broken ribs and burns. Supervisor Mike Antonovich has launched an investigation into why the boy was not removed from the home. L.A. Daily News
Accused priests. Dozens of Catholic religious orders have until September to release personnel files of priests accused of sexually molesting children in the L.A archdiocese. As part of an out-of-court settlement with victims, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles in January released 12,000 pages of secret personnel files on 120 priests. But, there are 50 to 75 independent Catholic religious orders and other dioceses that had priests working in L.A. who are also accused of molesting children here. Yesterday, L.A. Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias said the files should be made public as they become available throughout the summer. AP
Wal-Mart pollution. Retail giant Wal-Mart has agreed to pay more than $81 million to settle a decade-old lawsuit accusing the company of illegally dumping pesticides and other hazardous products. The company entered guilty pleas in San Francisco Superior Court yesterday to misdemeanor charges of violating the Clean Water Act and a law regulating pesticides. The illegal dumping occurred in 16 California counties, from Orange to Del Norte. The Atlantic magazine did the math…It says the $81 million settlement amounts to slightly more than one day of profit for Wal-Mart. The Atlantic
Disneyland blast. Police are reviewing surveillance video footage and pouring over social media websites as they investigate a small explosion in a trash can at Disneyland that shut down part of the park for a couple of hours yesterday. The blast in Mickey’s Toontown appears to have been caused by dry ice in a bottle. There were no injuries or significant damage. Police say the device looks similar to others that have exploded in Anaheim recently. AP
Hockey heroics. The Los Angeles Kings won in thrilling fashion last night – defeating the San Jose Sharks 2 to 1 in a Game 7 showdown to advance to the Western Conference finals. Justin Williams scored two goals for the Kings. The defending Stanley Cup champions have now won six straight playoff series. They’ll take on the winner of tonight’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings in the conference finals. L.A. Times