California moves to restrict water pumping by pre-1914 rights holders

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For the first time in nearly 40 years, state regulators are telling more than 100 growers and irrigation districts with some of the oldest water rights in California that they have to stop drawing supplies from drought-starved rivers and streams in the Central Valley.

The curtailment order, issued Friday by the State Water Resources Control Board, has been expected for weeks. Earlier this spring, the board halted diversions under some 8,700 junior rights. With snowmelt reduced to a trickle this year, there simply isn’t enough water flowing in rivers to meet the demand of all those with even older rights predating 1914.

And as flows continue to decline this summer, board officials said, they expect to issue more curtailments, stopping river pumping by more senior diverters. Continue reading

Did the Fed Just Enter the Currency Wars?

(Bloomberg) — The minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting last month have foreign-exchange traders wondering whether Janet Yellen has joined the currency wars.

Central bankers from Europe to Australia have engaged this year in bouts of rate-cutting oneupmanship, leaving the U.S., and possibly Britain, as the only developed nations seen as likely to raise borrowing costs in 2015. The dollar climbed to its strongest in more than a decade as a result, prompting billionaire Warren Buffett and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President Gary Cohn to question whether the Fed can now increase rates without damaging the U.S. economy. Continue reading

China plans world’s longest underwater tunnel: China Daily

BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — China is planning to build the world’s longest underwater tunnel beneath the Bohai Sea by 2026, according to a Friday report in the China Daily

“Once approved, work could begin as early as 2015 or 2016,” Wang Mengshu, a tunnel and railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering who has worked on the plan since 2012, was quoted as saying by the paper. Continue reading