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  • FRESNO, Calif.— Farmers along the river delta at the heart of California agriculture expected to get an answer Friday on their surprise offer to give up a quarter of their water this year in exchange for being spared deeper mandatory cutbacks as California responds to the worsening drought. For the first time since a 1977 drought, California regulators are...

  • BUCKEYE LAKE, Ohio— An engineering firm that analyzed the deteriorated dam at central Ohio's Buckeye Lake suggested Friday that changes could be made to raise the water level and keep boats and surrounding businesses afloat without decreasing safety, though state officials have some concerns about the proposals. The local chamber of commerce sought an...

  • SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California farmers who hold rights to water that date as far back as the Gold Rush are bracing for their first state-ordered conservation in decades, as a record drought prompts some of the deepest cuts yet in the country's most productive agricultural state. Regulators said those first orders Friday will impact holders of century-old...

  • US STOCKS-U.S. stocks tread water as Fed minutes loom Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | 1:07 PM ET

    *Fed minutes expected at 2:00 p.m. ET. *Southwest Airlines leads fall in airline stocks. *Yahoo bounces back from sharp selloff on Tuesday.

  • SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Farmers and other landowners who staked the earliest claims to California's water are last to suffer cutbacks at times of drought under the state's water-rights system. Rural irrigation districts in Modesto and the Sierra Foothills have claims, and water departments in San Francisco and Los Angeles are among the biggest users.

  • California farmers offer to give up some water, avoid cuts Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | 11:53 AM ET

    SACRAMENTO, Calif.— A group of California farmers, in a surprising turnaround, is volunteering to give up a fourth of its available water this year, sharing a resource all but guaranteed to them for more than a century. The offer was made as these and other "senior water rights holders" face an imminent threat of being included in the mandatory cutbacks that apply to...

  • California farmers propose voluntary cuts Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | 12:09 AM ET

    FRESNO, Calif.— Farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta who have California's oldest water rights are proposing to voluntarily cut their use by 25 percent to avoid the possibility of even harsher restrictions by the state later this summer as the record drought continues. If the state accepts the deal, Delta water managers say it may become a model for...

  • CAXITO, Angola, May 19- After decades of civil war destroyed Angola's fertile farmland and a booming oil industry pushed out all other commerce, Santa Rodrigo wondered how she could ever bring up her five children in the poverty that surrounded them. So the result of an investment in 2005 to irrigate the land where Santa Rodrigo lives- Caxito, around 60 kilometres...

  • SAN FRANCISCO— California regulators on Monday expanded their list of thousands of state-permitted oil and gas wells where below-ground injections may be contaminating drinking-water reserves. An ongoing state review ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has yet to break that down into whether any Californian is drinking contaminated...

  • 8 states get new drought aid for farms, ranches Monday, 18 May 2015 | 2:18 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Farmers and ranchers in the West's worst-hit drought regions will receive an additional $21 million to help them save water and soil despite the long dry spell. That includes parts of California, Kansas, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Utah. The money comes from the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service.

  • Wyoming governor pushes coal ports on Northwest trip Monday, 18 May 2015 | 1:37 PM ET

    CHEYENNE, Wyo.— Faced with sliding domestic demand for coal, the governor of Wyoming has kept pressing for access to deep-water ports in the Northwest that would allow exports to Asian markets. Jay Inslee in Olympia and plans to meet Tuesday with Oregon Gov. The stakes are high for Wyoming— the nation's leading coal-producing state— to find new markets.

  • COCACHACRA, Peru— Protests against a copper mining project in southern Peru injured a dozen people Thursday and spread to other parts of the region. Residents of this southern coastal valley are opposing the $1.4 billion Tia Maria project of Mexican-owned Southern Peru Copper. The owners say it would use desalinated water and pump water used in processing...

  • LUDINGTON, Mich.— Operators of a 63- year-old coal-fired passenger ferry that carries people and cars across Lake Michigan between Wisconsin and Michigan have made the necessary environmental improvements to keep the vintage vessel in service, U.S. regulators announced Thursday. "The Badger car ferry is now in compliance with the Clean Water Act and will no...

  • Search for 15 trapped gold miners continues in Colombia Thursday, 14 May 2015 | 8:34 AM ET

    BOGOTA, Colombia— Scores of rescuers resumed the search for 15 gold miners missing and feared dead Thursday after the water poured into the underground shafts where they were digging. Yeison Gutierrez, 34, said he was able to save several colleagues because he was one of the few miners who knew how to swim. "I swam to the surface fighting against the water and the air...

  • GREENVILLE, N.C.— As the nation's largest electricity company prepares to plead guilty to violating the federal Clean Water Act, Duke Energy has started delivering bottled water to people with tainted wells close to its North Carolina coal ash pits. Duke spokeswoman Erin Culbert told The Associated Press that any homeowner who gets a state letter warning of a...

  • HARSTINE ISLAND, Wash.— Raising the world's largest burrowing clam isn't for the impatient farmer. For Taylor Shellfish Farms in Washington state, the country's largest farmed shellfish producer, it begins at its hatchery where wild geoducks are coaxed into spawning eggs and sperm in a water tank. AP photographer Ted S. Warren took a close-up look at the...

  • Duke to provide water to NC residents with tainted wells Wednesday, 13 May 2015 | 10:22 AM ET

    DUKEVILLE, N.C.— Duke Energy says it will begin delivering bottled water to homeowners living near its coal ash pits in North Carolina, even as the nation's largest electricity company denies responsibility for its neighbors' tainted wells. Duke's pledge to provide clean water to the affected residents is welcome news to Sherry Gobble, who lives with her...

  • *CEO says has met with Finance Ministry over tax hike plan. JERUSALEM, May 13- Israel Chemicals said on Wednesday it was optimistic the country's incoming government might water down a plan to impose stiff taxes on mining firms. ICL Chief Executive Stefan Borgas said he met Finance Ministry officials this month, but not incoming Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, and...

  • Rancher wars are back...over California water Wednesday, 13 May 2015 | 7:00 AM ET
    Workers install a new drill pipe in search of water at a farm near Mendota, Calif.

    In parched California, there's talk of measuring water use better in year four of the drought. But there's resistance.

  • MARSHALL, Mich.— A company responsible for one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history will restore or create 300 acres of wetlands as part of a sweeping agreement with the state to improve the Kalamazoo River watershed in southwestern Michigan. A settlement filed Tuesday in Calhoun County court requires Enbridge Energy to keep monitoring the impacts...