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California is adopting water restrictions for the first time… and that's the problem.  It's the first time.  Four years of drought have created an emergency, but 19th Century laws and 20th Century practices have created a 21st Century crisis, not just in California, but in much of the West as well. 

Also, Iran and EU leaders issued joint statement on Iran nuclear talks, and politics and bribery charges on Capitol Hill.  

Photo: Governor Brown delivers remarks on the drought and new mandatory water restrictions (California Department of Water Resources)

Iran and EU Leaders Issued Joint Statement on Iran Nuclear Talks 6 MIN, 30 SEC

After failing to meet Tuesday's deadline, negotiators in Switzerland today announced a "tentative agreement" to limit Iran's nuclear program. Federica Mogherini , European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, said EU sanctions against Iran will end.

Correspondent Laura Rozen is in Lausanne, Switzerland for  Al-Monitor, an online news outlet focused on the Middle East.  Although optimistic, George Perkovich, vice president for studies and director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says more clarity on the role of the IAEA is needed, and what criteria it will assess in saying Iran has taken all key nuclear-related steps.

Laura Rozen, Al-Monitor (@lrozen)
George Perkovich, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Obama on the framework to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon

Taming Water Use in the Wild West 34 MIN, 27 SEC

Yesterday, after four years of drought, Governor Jerry Brown stood on dry grass where the snow pack is normally five feet deep and announced the state's first-ever mandatory restrictions on the use of water — escalating water wars between urban and agricultural users.  The shortage of water's unprecedented, but the competition is nothing new -- and it's not just in California, which gets much of its water from winter snows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  People in Las Vegas and Phoenix, as well as Los Angeles, are pitted against the farmers who feed the rest of the nation and other parts of the world. Will states with no choice but to share water get together to resolve a crisis that's never going away? 

Mark Hertsgaard, Nation magazine (@markhertsgaard)
Chris Scheuring, California Farm Bureau Foundation (@CAFarmBureau)
Thomas Painter, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (@JPL)
Daniel McCool, University of Utah
Wade Graham, Pepperdine University (@wadelgraham)

Hertsgaard on how growers gamed California's drought
Hertsgaard's 'Hot: Living through the Next Fifty Years on Earth'
California Farm Bureau Federation on the California water crisis
Graham on the water revolution that California needs (LA Times, 2014)
Federal Bureau of Reclamation
Prior Appropriation Doctrine

River Republic

Daniel McCool

Senator Robert Menendez Indicted on Corruption Charges 9 MIN, 6 SEC

For the first time since the conviction of Alaska's former Senator Ted Stevens was overturned, the Department of Justice has filed bribery charges against a sitting member of the Upper House. The case is also the first to involve a super PAC. New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez has stepped down as ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but he's vowing a fight over a 22-count indictment accusing him of accepting bribes in exchange for official favors. Expressing outrage at the Department of Justice for basing the investigation on "false allegations," he vowed, "I will not be silenced. I'm confident that the end of the day I will be vindicated and they will be exposed."

Melanie Sloane is a former federal prosecutor and a former member of the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which called attention to Menendez and his co-defendant, Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen. She's now with Triumph Strategies, a public affairs and crisis communications firm.

Melanie Sloan, Summer Strategies / American Oversight

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