WestFAST News



The WestFAST Newsletter is published monthly and provides information on activities going on within WestFAST. The newsletter is typically published the first week of every month. To get added to the WestFAST Newsletter distribution list send an email to Deborah Lawler (dlawler@wswc.utah.gov).

2020 Newsletters

  • November:  Higher Atmospheric Thirst from Climate Change to Increase Fire Danger and Drought in California and Nevada; Study Uses Novel Approach to Assess Extreme Event Impacts in Alaska; and more.
  • October:  2020-2021 Winter Outlook Leans Warm and Dry Across Southern United States.
  • September:  NASA Water Portal, NASA Funds Eight New Projects Exploring Connections Between the Environment and COVID-19, Transforming Water Management with NASA Data, New Collaboration Between NRCS and FEMA To Provide Disaster Recovery Assistance, New Soil Moisture Research Results, Reclamation launches online tool providing public access to water, power & environmental data, and more.
    August: New research identifies regions with worsening “snow droughts” around the world; Army Corps of Engineers announces proposal to renew and revise nationwide permits.
  • July: Reclamation launches prize competition seeking innovative sediment removal solutions for critical water infrastructure; NIDIS Highlights 2019 Achievements in First Ever Annual Report; EPA Announces First Update on National Water Reuse Action Plan Implementation; EPA Announces $6 Billion in New Funding for Water Infrastructure Projects.  Funding availability builds on 24 WIFIA loans issued under President Trump financing nearly $12 billion in water infrastructure and creating 25,000 jobs.
  • June: EPA Announces Dynamic New Water Data Transparency Tool.
  • May: Funding availability for: new water treatment technologies, drought resiliency, wetland mitigation banking, urban agriculture and innovative production, Tribes/tribal organizations water management technical assistance; the EPA Releases Draft Criteria to Help Protect Lakes and Reservoirs; and more.
  • April: EPA Takes Step Toward Granting Wyoming Primacy for Certain Underground Injection Wells; When It Comes to Water, You Have to Think Global; USDA Announces $15 Million for Conservation Innovation Grants.
  • March:  FWS:  Establishes Procedures on Wetland Easements; BLM:  Seeks comment on Red Devil Mine proposed cleanup plan, and Seeks comments on Pumpkin Creek management;  NOAA:  Launches new approach to accelerate innovation and new science in weather modeling; USDA: Seeks Proposals for On-Farm Conservation and Soil Health Test Projects, Stands Up New Team to Better Serve Beginning Farmers and Ranchers, Enhanced Funding Option Aims to Increase Flexibility and Delivery of Conservation Innovation, and Seeks Public Comment on More Revised Conservation Practice Standards.
  • February:  USDA Invites Input on Regional Conservation Partnership Program Rule; EPA Announces Funding for Infrastructure Projects to Protect Surface Water and Drinking Water in Four Region 7 States; Deadline to Apply for Natural Resources Conservation Funds Approaching – Nebraska; Montana NRCS Sets Conservation Program Funding Application Cutoff for March 13; Idaho NRCS Announces Application Deadline for EQIP and RCPP Sign-Ups; South Dakota NRCS Announces EQIP Signup Deadline is March 20, 2020; Washington USDA Offers Renewal Options for Active Conservation Stewardship Program Contracts; Utah NRCS Announces New EQIP Application Deadline; USDA Providing Funds to Protect and Restore Agricultural Working Lands, Grasslands and Wetlands across Nebraska; USDA NRCS in Kansas Establishes Dates for Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Application Deadlines; Wyoming NRCS Announces FY2020 Sign-Up Deadline for Select Voluntary Conservation Programs; New Mexico USDA Announces Application Deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program Renewal Contracts; North Dakota NRCS Announces Application Deadline for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program; Funding Available from USDA to Protect Groundwater – Nebraska Attachments area.
  • January: USDA Invites Input on Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Rule; CEQ Issues Proposed Rule to Modernize its NEPA Regulations; EPA and Army Deliver on President Trump’s Promise to Issue the Navigable Waters Protection Rule – A New Definition of WOTUS; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation: A Joint Commitment to the Nation’s Water Infrastructure.


2019 Newsletters

  • December: EPA Moves Forward on Key Drinking Water Priority Under PFAS Action Plan; EPA Awards $4 Million to Protect America’s Estuaries and Coastal Waters; Reclamation Announces Funding Opportunity for Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects; Bureau of Reclamation makes funding available for Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Projects.
  • November: NOAA releases new strategies to apply emerging science and technology; USDA Invites Input on Conservation Stewardship Program Rule; Can we clean up, stop, or end harmful algal blooms?; BLM seeks public input for Whitewater River Groundwater Replenishment Facility Project environmental analysis; EPA Announces Availability of $4.8 Million in Funding for New Research on Managing PFAS in Agriculture; Next Generation Water Observing System Partnership Announcement; and NASA Embarks on Five U.S. Expeditions Targeting Air, Land and Sea.
  • October: Federal action plan focused on improving water prediction for Western U.S.; Reclamation releases funding opportunity to develop innovative and cost-effective desalination technologies; EPA Invites 38 New Projects to Apply for Water Infrastructure Loans to Improve Water Quality; USDA Seeks Public Comments on Conservation Practice Standard Updates.
  • September: USDA to Invest up to $300M in Partner-driven Conservation; EPA Seeks Comment on New Policy Proposals to Facilitate Market-Based Opportunities to Improve Water Quality; EPA, U.S. Army Repealing 2015 Rule Defining Waters of the United States; Reclamation announced grand funding available to develop local water management solutions; USDA Invests in Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in 25 States; USDA Forest Service proposes changes to address land management challenges; EPA Announces Water Workforce Initiative; US Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries Update Effective Date of Section 7 Final Rule; USDA Invests in Community Facilities Improvements.
  • August:  Highlights from the 2nd National Drought Forum; Funding Opportunity to Improve Water Reliability and Energy Efficiency; Funding opportunity for Drought Resiliency Projects in 2020 & 2021; EPA Issues Proposed Rule on Clean Water Act Quality Certification; Bering Land Bridge Experiences Unprecedented Lake Draining; July 2019 was hottest month on record for the planet – Polar Sea Ice Melted to Record Lows; Prize Competition to Protect Steel Structures; Public Comment Period on Revised Dewey-Burdock Uranium In-situ Recovery Underground Injection Control Permits in Edgemont, SD; A New Understanding of Soil Moisture – New Techniques Produce Better Information on Drought and Flood Conditions.
  • July: Improved SoilWeb Smartphone App; Seeking public input on future priorities for research and development; 51 Requests Totaling Over $6 Billion Received for Third Round of WIFIA Funding; AWWA Manual on Drought Preparedness and Response; and Federal Officials Announce Priority Actions Supporting Long-Term Drought Resilience
  • June: National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook, Rain-soaked U.S., EPA Issues Guidance on CWA Quality Certification, NASA Explores Our Changing Fresh Water World
  • May : Historic Drought Agreements Signed, Record Flooding in Oklahoma, Flooding Along the Arkansas River

2018 Newsletters

  • September : Fires Continues, BAER Teams, USGS Explores Advances in Risk Assessment
  • August : Fire and Drought Updates along with USGS Water Surveys
  • July : Fire and Drought in the West, Collaborative Species Conservation and Nat’l Levee DB
  • June :  Fire Risks This Summer, WOTUS, USACE Work Plan for 2018 and more
  • May :  Floods in the North/Droughts in the South, USACE Flood Fight, and BOR Opportunity
  • April : Earth Day, National Park Week, and USGS Groundwater Visualization Tool
  • March : WestFAST Principals’ Meeting – Washington, DC March 16 2018
  • February: EPA Administrator Participates in White House Infrastructure Round table
  • January: Colorado River Water Salinity Decreases from 1986-2011

2017 Newsletters

  • December: USGS Midpoint of Ground Water Survey
  • November: WOTUS Ruling – amend effective date
  • October: WSWC Fall Meeting/Winter Outlook
  • September: Natural Hazards Impact the West
  • August: Hurricane Harvey / SW Oklahoma Water Summit
  • July: Clean Water Act/WOTUS
  • June: WSWC Summer Meetings
  • May: 2018 Presidential budget
  • April: WSWC Spring Meeting
  • March: NOAA Spring Outlook
  • February: WSWC/WestFAST Ready for Transition
  • January: NOAA’s GOES-16 Satellite Sends First Images to Earth

2016 Newsletters 

  • December: New WestFAST Liaison
  • November: Priorities for a New Administration
  • October: WSWC Fall Meetings
  • September: Wildfire Season is Raging Across the West
  • August: WSWC CIMIS Workshop
  • July : WSWC/WestFast workshop on groundwater
  • June: July WSWC Meetings – Non-Tribal Federal Water Rights Workshop
  • May: National Soil Moisture Monitoring Network Workshop
  • April: WSWC/NOAA/NASA S2S Precipitation Forecasting
  • March: Presidential Memorandum on Drought Resilience – WestFAST March Principals Meeting
  • February: NOAA/NASA Launch Unprecedented Effort to Discover How El Nino Works
  • January: WestFAST schedules Spring Principals Meeting, adds new USGS member.

2015 Newsletters

  • December: WSWC, NOAA, WestFAST Continue Discussion on Advancing Precipitation Forecasting
  • November: WestFAST Takes Part in AWRA Panel on Federal/State Collaboration
  • October: WSWC Kansas Council Meetings
  • September: Monitoring Gold King Mine Release
  • August: New WestFAST Vice Chair/Response to Gold King Mine Release
  • July: Changes in WestFAST leadership
  • June: WestFAST to Participate in WSWC Summer Council Meeting & 50th Anniversary Commemoration
  • May: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Clean Water Rule Finalized
  • April: WSWC April Meetings/Tulsa Oklahoma
  • March: WestFAST/WSWC Principals Meeting
  • February: WestFAST Schedules Principals Meetings
  • January: WestFAST Special Topics Webinar Series

2014 Newsletters

  • December: Western Governors Las Vegas Meetings
  • November: Sacramento Governors’ Drought Forum; WGA Comments on Waters of U.S., National Water Use Update.
  • October: WSWC Fall Council Meetings in Scottsdale.
  • August: Incoming WestFAST Liaison.
  • July: WSWC Summer Council Meetings in Helena.
  • June: WSWC Prepares for Summer Meetings in Helena, Montana; Representatives from the Federal Government Speak at WGA Gathering; WSWC Vice Chair Goes Before the House Subcommittee on Water and Power; WSWC Leader Moves From State to Federal Position
  • May: GAO Releases Updated Report on Freshwater Availability and Use; Forest Service Proposes Directives to Protect Groundwater Resources; Release of Third National Climate Assessment.
  • April: WSWC Washington DC Roundtable; NDRP—National Drought Resilience Partnership.
  • March: White House Launches Climate Data Initiative; FEMA Hosts America’s PrepareAthon; EPA & Corps Release Draft Rule on Jurisdiction.
  • February: DoD, Idaho Collaborate Proactively to Resolve Federal Water Issues; Idaho Uses Adjudications to Preemptively Defend Against Out-of-State Water Claims; WestFAST Prepares for DC Roundtable.
  • January:  WestFAST Forms Four Work Groups; USACE Releases Report on Value Added by Civil Works Program.

2013 Newsletters

  • December:  Western Governors Meet in Vegas; USGS Landsat Benefits; New Federal Budget.
  • November:  Executive Order Regarding the Impacts of Climate Change; Reclamation Announces WaterSMART Basin Studies.
  • October: Shutdown Looms and Snow Falls on WSWC Fall Council Meeting in Deadwood, South Dakota; Partial Federal Government Shutdown Slows Federal News Releases.
  • September: EPA Report on Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands, and Related CWA Rulemaking Announced; Alternative Funding and Finance for USACE Civil Works Projects; Reclamation Coordinates Study Effort with Colorado River Basin Tribes.
  • August: WSWC & NARF Symposium on the Settlement of Indian Water Right Claims; New USGS Groundwater Vulnerability Report.
  • July: New Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency; Department of Energy Releases a New Report on Climate Vulnerabilities; WSWC Workshop: Measuring, Quantifying, and Reporting Drought Impacts.
  • June: WestFAST Transitions—New Leaders and Agency Representatives; WSWC Summer Council Meeting—Casper, Wyoming.
  • May: USGS Releases Results of Study of Aquifers; WRDA 2013 in the US House; BLM Issues Rule on Fracking; 2013 Interagency MOU on Coordination of Conservation Demonstration Areas.
  • April: President Obama Submits FY 2014 Federal Budget Proposal to Congress.
  • March: USACE Unveils the Federal Support Toolbox; First Images Released From Newest Earth Observation Satellite; Updated Principles and Guidelines for Federal Investments in Water Resources.
  • February: EPA Releases “Equitable Development” Report As Part of its Sustainability Program; Western States Update.
  • January: President Obama Issues an Inaugural Call for Environmental Action; Climate Change and Water Working Group Releases New Report; Rulemaking to Define Clean Water Act Jurisdiction; Western States Update.

2012 Newsletters

  • December: DOI, Reclamation Release Colorado River Basin Water Supply & Demand Study; EPA Releases Memorandum Regarding NPDES Regulation of “Good Samaritans.”
  • November: Western Water Resources Infrastructure Symposium; United States and Mexico Sign Colorado River Agreement.
  • October: WSWC Fall Council Meeting; Principles of Collaboration—New WestFAST Project; EPA Commemorates 2012 as the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act.
  • September: NIDIS Workshop Addresses Drought Issues; USGS Provides “Project Alerts” for Flooding and Drought.
  • August: Drought Conditions Impact Much of the United States; EPA Releases S.F. Bay Delta Action Plan; Extreme Weather Events Conference; WestFAST Liaison Transition.
  • June: WSWC Holds Summer Meeting; WestFAST 2012 Work Plan Released; Federal Partners Continue to Support Response Efforts to Combat Western Wildfires; WSWC and WestFAST Release Draft Water Data Exchange Schema for Review.
  • May: Reclamation Funds WaterSMART Grants Throughout the West; Idaho National Laboratory Hosts Mountain West Water Institute Workshop; Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study Releases New Technical Memorandum; EPA Announces Intention to Revise Regulations to Specify that a NPDES Permit is Not Required for Stormwater Discharge from Logging Roads.
  • April: New Water Quality Portal Provides Access to Over 150 Million Water Quality Monitoring Records; NOAA/WGA Hold Joint Climate Forum; EPA Publishes Principles for an Energy Water Future Document; DOD Joins WestFAST.
  • March: WSWC Hold Spring Meeting; WaterSMART Program Funds Studies of Water Supplies and River Environments in Five Western Water Basins; USDA Publishes Final Forest Planning Rule.
  • February: Colorado River Water Science Stakeholders Roundtable; WestFAST Releases 2011 Accomplishments Report; NOAA’s National Water Center Coming to Alabama; North Idaho’s Yellowdog Creek Nursed Back to Health by Local, State and Federal Partnership.
  • January: USFS Releases Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Forest Planning Rule; EPA Releases 2010-2011 Highlights of Progress Implementing the National Water Program Climate Change Strategy; USDA Announces Disaster Assistance to Produces and Communities in 33 States and Puerto Rico; National Strategy Proposed to Respond to Climate Change’s Impacts on Fish, Wildlife, and Plants.

2011 Newsletters

  • December: Partnerships in the Colorado River Basin Demonstrate the Promise of the WaterSMART Program; EPA Federal-State Partnership Helps Water Managers Plan for Climate Change; Bringing Desalinization and Renewable Energy Together; WestFAST and WSWC Release New Water Use Data Exchange Web Site.
  • November: EPA releases final Pesticides General Permit (PGP); FGDC releases prototype mapping application; WestFAST kicks-off support for WSWC water Infomration and Data Subcommittee.
  • October: WSWC holds fall meeting; DOI releases report evaluating existing water monitoring and modeling systems; EPA announces schedule to develop natural gas wastewater standards; NASA holds meeting on remote sensing and evapotranspiration.
  • September: USGS releases new nutrient science; EPA releases report on incorporating climate change into the land-use decision making process; NASA’s Aquarius yields first map of ocean salinity.
  • August: USFS Releases Watershed Condition Framework Map; DOE Advisory Committee Releases Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Recommendations; CA and NV Agree to Roadmap to Improve Clairity of Lake Tahoe; WSWC Sends Letter to Congress Regarding EPA SRF Funding.
  • July: WSWC Summer Meeting; Mountain West Water Institute Inaugural Workshop; WGA Newly Adopted Water Management Policies.
  • June: WGA and NOAA sign MOU on Climate Services; CEQ releases draft National Action Plan on Water; USFS releases framework to improve nation’s watersheds; New WestFAST Chair and Vice-Chair.
  • May: USGS, NOAA, USACE Sign MOU; DOE Surpases Clean-up Targets; USFWS Releases Endangered Species Work Plan; Forest Service Forest Planing Rule.
  • April: WSWC Spring Meeting; Release of Reclamation Secure Water Act Report; EPA/USACE CWA Guidance; NASA Evapotranspiration and Drought meetings.
  • March: WSWC vists DC; Preparing for WSWC Spring meeting; WGA Forest Restoration Policy; EPA Mercury from Power Plants Proposed Rule.
  • February: Great Basin LCC; WaterSMART Clearinghouse; Upper Colorado NIDIS Meeting; USACE State Water Planning summaries.
  • January: WestFAST releases Water Availability Studies Inventory; WSWC passes resolution on pesticides; USACE and Reclamation publish climate report.

2010 Newsletters

  • December: Report out on October 2010 WSWC meeting; report out on November 2010 Symposium; liaison transition.
  • August: Report from the 163rd Western States Water Council (WSWC) Meeting; Western Governors’ Association (WGA) Water Needs and Strategies for a Sustainable Future: 2010 Progress Report; WestFAST Completes Water-Climate Change Program Inventory; NASA and DOE Join WestFAST; Drought/Climate Services Workshop.
  • April: Report from the 162nd Western States Water Council (WSWC) Meeting; ICWP-WSWC Policy Roundtable; WSWC-WestFAST Principals Meeting; Drought/Climate Services Workshop.

2009 Newsletters

  • December: Message from the WestFAST Chair; WestFAST in the news; Report from the 161st Western States Water Council Meeting; WIMS Symposia; NIDIS Workshop.
  • July: Message from the WestFAST Chair; WSWC News; Western Governors’ Association; WestFAST in the news; Message from the Retiring WestFAST Chair.