The Stream, September 26: Algal Blooms Cause Manatee Deaths in Florida Estuary

Water Quality
Large blooms of algae in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon have destroyed sea grass beds and forced manatees to eat poisonous macro algae that can kill them, NPR reported. The algal blooms are thought to be the result of nutrient-rich water releases from Lake Okeechobee and seeping septic systems.

Australia’s government is requiring environmental assessments for 47 proposed coal seam gas and coal mine projects under a new environmental law, Reuters reported. The assessments will focus on how the projects could affect water.

Water Scarcity
A United Nations team is developing a standard set of guidelines that companies can use to assess and report their water risk, the Guardian reported. Companies, which have been under increasing pressure from investors to disclose water risk, are often reporting their risk under different guidelines that make comparisons difficult.

A second week of water shortages in Senegal’s capital city has prompted protests and a lawsuit to force the country’s water supplier to fix the problem, Bloomberg News reported. The shortages are the result of a broken water pipe approximately 200 kilometers away from the city.

Water Supply
India’s dam reservoirs and groundwater supplies have been refreshed by monsoon rains that are above the 50-year average for the first time in two years, Bloomberg News reported. The rain is good news for the country’s agriculture sector, which depends on rains to irrigate 55 percent of cropland.

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2 replies
  1. Dani says:

    The Most Important Fish in the Sea, by historian and auhtor H. Bruce Franklin of Rutgers University, discusses the integral ties between the menhaden fishery, American society, and marine ecosystem health.a0 Menhaden is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are used by humans in everything from animal feed to health supplements.a0 However, they are also a forage fish, essential prey for marine animals and sea birds, and filter feeders, improving water quality and keeping phytoplankton populations under control.a0 There are no federal regulations on the menhaden fishery, and their populations have thus been severely diminished by the industries that use omega-3 fatty acids.a0 The negative effects of menhaden decline have cascaded up the food chain to their predators as well as down to the plankton on which they feed and the water they filter.

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