U.S., Mexico battle over water

With millions of gallons of water from the Colorado River seeping into Mexican ground every year, the Bush administration is asking a federal appeals court to allow a canal separating the two countries to be lined with concrete. The $251 million project was stymied after protests by the Mexicali Economic Development Council, environmental groups, and the Mexican city of Calexico, who stated that the blocked water seepage would be detrimental to Mexico. The Bush administration says the water is the “lifeblood” for farmers tending 500,000 acres of U.S. farmland.

Baltimore methane to power Coast Guard

The city's Board of Estimates has approved an arrangement to sell methane gas from a city landfill to the U.S. Coast Guard. Under the agreement, the city will receive at least $3 million over 15 years, and the Coast Guard will use the gas—routed via pipeline to a cogeneration plant at the shipyard—to generate electricity and heat at its Curtis Bay shipyard.

U.S. DOT seeks partners

The U.S. DOT is looking for state and city transportation officials to join its efforts to fight traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas. Through its Urban Partnership Agreement, the agency would provide partners with grants, loans, credit support, regulatory relief, and technical assistance to test advanced technologies like ramp metering and real-time travel data systems. In exchange, public agencies will research, develop, and share strategies for reducing traffic congestion.

Wise about water?

How much of the earth's water is available for human use? Which uses less water, a bath or a five-minute shower? The U.S. EPA's WaterSense program—a public-private partnership geared toward protecting the nation's water supply—features an interactive quiz that tests water knowledge, and educates constituents on the importance of saving water in the home. Questions deal with the use of water in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and yard. Visit www.epa.gov/watersense/water

FHWA rules on safety apparel

The Federal Highway Administration has issued a final rule affecting the use of high-visibility safety apparel. The rule, which applies only to workers that work within the rights of way of federal-aid highways, is designed to decrease fatalities and injuries caused by traffic, or by other construction equipment and vehicles. For more information, visit www.access.gpo.gov.

PCA taps new chair

Charlie Sunderland has been named chair of the Portland Cement Association (PCA). Chair of the board and CEO of Ash Grove Cement Co., Overland Park, Kan., Sunderland previously served as the association's vice chair and chair of its Public Works Committee. He also served on the PCA's Market Promotion Council, Paving Committee, Regional Promotion Committee, and the Residential Committee.

Poll: Reused wastewater OK to drink

According to an industry poll, 54% of households have no problem with the idea of drinking treated and reused wastewater. Another 26% say all types of wastewater reuses are fine except for drinking water. Approximately 16% said they'd only accept irrigation or industrial reuses of wastewater, and 4% said they would not go for wastewater reuse of any kind. For more information, visit www.watertechonline.com.