Today’s quick hits, Feb. 1, 2023

California holds out  on Colorado River pact: Six of the seven states that rely on the Colorado River have agreed on a plan to reduce their water use, but California is holding out, causing the states to miss yet another federal deadline. (Los Angeles Times)

Wall Street sees profits in drying river: A joint investigation by CBS News and the Weather Channel found that private investment firms are buying farmland along the Colorado River in a possible effort to secure water rights. (CBS News)

EPA nixes Pebble mine: The EPA “effectively vetoed” a proposed gold and copper mine in the Bristol Bay watershed in southwest Alaska, which produces half of the sockeye salmon in the world; the mine’s owners threatened to sue. (Associated Press)

Millions in California food benefits stolen: California’s EBT cards lack security features common to credit and debit cards, allowing thieves to steal millions of dollars of cash and food benefits allotted to low-income families. (CalMatters)

Lowest number of beef cows since 1962: Ranchers pared their herds in the face of drought and high feed prices and now own the smallest number of beef cows, 28.9 million head, in 61 years, portending tight beef supplies and higher prices at the grocery store. (Reuters)

‘Crisis in the making’: After watching nitrate levels climb in his well water for years, Minnesota farm owner Jeff Broberg became an advocate for policy changes to benefit rural well owners affected by agricultural runoff. (Investigate Midwest)