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Senators Consider Sequester Modifications

Although early sequester impacts have not been as widespread as initially feared, concern remains that additional cuts that are mandated to take effect in FY 14 will have greater negative consequences.  Several Senators have introduced different legislative options to offer flexibility to Federal agencies as they cope with the additional cuts.

A bipartisan effort, supported by Democrat Joe Manchin (WV) and Republicans Pat Toomey (PA) and James Inhofe (OK), proposes development of alternative spending cuts.  Another option from Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) would allow agencies to shift money between accounts rather than face another round of across the board cuts.  Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) would modify the Collins approach to allow limited reprogramming among budget accounts but require Congressional oversight.  A final legislative proposal comes from Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) to give Federal agencies and departments the ability to exempt certain employees from furloughs.  As of yet, none of the proposals have seen action either in Committee or on the Senate Floor but they are indicative of increasing Congressional concern with the next round of sequester cuts.

New Reports Available from USGS
The U.S. Geological Survey’s Cooperative Water Program has just announced the availability of a number of reports and documents on a variety of topics.  The topics are listed below and the various documents are available through the following link:  http://water.usgs.gov/coop/quarterly/Quarterly.highlights.v7.pdf 

For questions on specific studies or USGS programs in individual states, please contact the USGS Water Science Director in the respective state by clicking on the “map” in the right hand corner or toggle box in the left sidebar on http://water.usgs.gov/coop

Water Availability and Water Use

  • Verde Valley, Central Arizona – Groundwater Pumping Continues to Reduce Streamflow 
  • Susquehanna River Valley, New York – Groundwater Potential Mapped (Other new reports from New York outlined in the New York USGS newsletter )
  • Columbia Plateau Regional Aquifer, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho – Groundwater Levels Continue to Decline
  • Wichita, Kansas – New Groundwater Model Used to Manage Water Resources
  • Ungaged Streams in Pennsylvania – Streamflow Information Now Available
  • Idaho – USGS Monitors Groundwater Levels in Drinking Water Wells

Water Quality and Drinking Water

  • Colorado Piceance Basin – Water-Quality Reports Now Available
  • San Francisco, Madeira County,  and the desert region of southern California – Groundwater Quality Data Available
  • Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin – Metals and PAHs Assessed in Urban Sediment
  • Johnson County, Kansas – Stream Quality
  • Central and Eastern North Carolina – Nutrient Yields Related to Watershed Setting
  • Groundwater in Pennsylvania – Elevated Arsenic
  • Clackamas River, Oregon – Sources and Characteristics of Organic Matter Related to the Formation of Disinfection By-Products in Treated Drinking Water
  • Mattawoman Creek, Maryland – Continuous Water Quality Data Available
  • Northeast Kansas – Sediment Transport Assessed

Hazards

  • Ohio flood inundation maps (Access USGS WaterNow for immediate streamflow information).

Ecosystems

  • Lakes Mead and Mohave, Nevada – Aquatic Science Documents Substantial Improvements
  • Kansas City and Independence, Missouri – Water Quality Affects Aquatic Health in Urban Streams

 

 Climate/Land Use Change

  • Georgia and South Carolina Coasts – Saltwater Intrusion and Relations to Climate Change

 Energy

  • Susquehanna River Valley, New York – Groundwater Potential Mapped.