California, Arizona, Nevada agree to cut water consumption from drought-stricken Colorado River – National & International News – MON 22May2023


California, Arizona, Nevada agree to cut water consumption from drought-stricken Colorado River.

Girl, 8, died in border custody after mom begged for help.



California, Arizona, Nevada agree to cut water consumption from drought-stricken Colorado River

The White House has reached a deal with three states to conserve as much water from the Colorado River as possible over the next 3 years.  California, Arizona and Nevada are just three of the seven US states (the others are Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico) and two Mexican states (Baja California and Sonora) who draw water from the Colorado River, but they are by far the biggest users.

Under the new deal, California, Arizona and Nevada will each have to cut their water use by 3 million acre feet by 2026. An acre-foot is the amount of water it takes to cover an acre of land in one foot of water. Each acre-foot represents 325851 liquid gallons of water, so 3 million acre-feet is about 977.5 billion gallons of water.

Although the states have been negotiating with the federal government and with each other for months, this deal is a somewhat unexpected breakthrough. California in particular draws very heavily from the river to irrigate its rich agricultural land. The state’s two biggest cash crops, almond and alfalfa, are very thirsty crops. California also has the oldest (therefore most senior) water rights of the three states and would usually be the last stakeholder to be asked to cut its water use. In previous negotiations, California had been very stingy with the consumption cuts that it offered. By agreeing to the deal voluntarily, California may hope to avoid steeper cuts that the federal government would have imposed if the states couldn’t reach a deal.

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Girl, 8, dies in border custody after mom begged for help

Last week, Anadith Tanay Reyes Alvarez, an 8-year-old Honduran girl born in Panama, died in US border custody. Anadith’s mother, Mabel Alvarez Benedicks, said her daughter had been born with congenital heart disease and also suffered from sickle cell anemia. The child had been sick at least since May 14 before she eventually died on the 17th complaining of abdominal pain, vomiting and eventually a seizure.

For days, Benedicks said she pleaded with agents to take her child to the hospital, but her pleas were ignored. Benedicks said Anadith “cried and begged for her life, and they ignored her. They didn’t do anything for her”. Instead, medical personnel at two immigration holding facilities (first in Donna, TX, and then in Harlingen, TX) treated Anadith for that they believed was influenza. On the day Anadith died, she was seen by medical personnel at Harlingen three times before she was eventually taken to a hospital where she died. 

Sadly, Anadith was the second recent death of an immigrant child in US government custody. On Wednesday May 10, two days before Title 42 expired, 17-year-old Ángel Eduardo Maradiaga Espinoza from Honduras died at another holding facility in Safety Harbor, FL. Espinoza’s family says he suffered from epilepsy but his cause of death hasn’t been determined. He was in the custody of the US Health and Human Services Department because he was a minor traveling alone.

The deaths of these two medically fragile young people in has underscored concerns about how border authorities handle large numbers of detainees. Anadith died on her family’s ninth day in border custody. This is far in excess of the 72 hours’ detention allowed by law.

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