The Global Rundown
The drought in Puerto Rico is so severe that the territory is cutting school days in some areas and asking the U.S. Department of Defense for relief. President Obama signed the Drinking Water Protection Act, which seeks to safeguard human health from algal toxins in places like the Great Lakes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture mapped nearly 200 proposed land and water conservation projects. The mining waste spilled into the Animas River in Colorado is just the latest incident in the area’s long history of freshwater mining pollution.
“I want to make sure every possibility is explored given the worsening drought conditions and water rationing we are facing in Puerto Rico.”–Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Pedro Pierluisi, on asking the United States government for drought relief. The drought has become so severe that Puerto Rican schools will only be open four days a week in areas affected by the drought. (Reuters)
By The Numbers
11 million liters Amount of wastewater and sludge leaked from an inactive mine in Colorado into the Animas River, turning the water a mustard color. The disaster is just the latest in a long history of mining pollution in the region. High Country News
Science, Studies, And Reports
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released an interactive map this week of 173 proposed Land and Water Conservation Fund projects, located in 43 states. The fund allows federal land managers to invest in healthy ecosystems, contributing to local water conservation. USDA
On The Radar
President Obama signed the Drinking Water Protection Act last week to help ensure the safety of water processed from algae-contaminated sources, such as Lake Erie. The law sets a 90-day period for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create a plan that establishes the health risks from algal toxins and recommends best practices for monitoring and responding to algae contamination. Toledo News Now
is an editorial intern for Circle of Blue based in Traverse City, Michigan. She is a senior at Northwestern University studying multimedia journalism and environmental sciences. Her interests include food security, environmental justice, and Latin American environmental policy.