The following is a transcript of the WaterWorld weekly newscast for April 18, 2016.
Hi, I'm Angela Godwin for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you water and wastewater news headlines for the week of April 18. Coming up...
Senate committee approves water, energy appropriations bill
Michigan proposes strictest lead rules in U.S.
SoCal water agency inks deal to buy delta islands
El Salvador declares drought emergency
The Senate Appropriations Committee has unanimously approved the $37.5 billion FY2017 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.
The bill includes $6 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and other waterways projects.
The bill also provides $1.275 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation to fund water supply projects and drought relief programs in the western United States.
It's worth noting that the legislation includes a provision that prohibits any changes to the definition of “fill material” and “discharge of fill material” for the purposes of the Clean Water Act.
The measure will now move to the Senate for full consideration.
A committee set up by Governer Snyder's administration to respond to the Flint water crisis released proposed lead regulations last week that would be the toughest in the nation.
The proposal would include annual lead and copper testing in schools, day cares, nursing homes and government meeting facilities.
It would also, by 2020, lower the lead threshold at which action should be taken -- from the federal limit of 15 ppb down to 10 ppb.
And it would require the replacement of lead service lines in most of Michigan's public water systems within 10 years.
The cost of the proposal has not yet been determined.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has signed a $175 million contract to buy five islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
MWD has not specified what the land will be used for, but some speculate that it could be used for water storage or wetland restoration, or even as part of Governor Jerry Brown's controversial "twin tunnel" project.
Critics of the deal call it a "water grab" and worry that it gives MWD a 20,000 acre stronghold in an area critical to water management in the state.
In international news, El Salvador has declared a drought emergency for the first time in its history, after four years of dry conditions have left rivers and reservoirs at critically low levels.
Much of the decreased rainfall is being attributed to climate change, and effects of El Nino.
In recent weeks, protests have erupted in San Salvador neighborhoods where residents have experienced severe water shortages.
The Salvadoran president has developed a water plan, which he plans to present to Council Ministers this week.
For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.