The Stream, July 1: Florida Declares Emergency Over Toxic Algae

The Global Rundown

Blooms of blue-green algae, likely linked to water management in southern Florida, prompted the state’s governor to declare an emergency in two counties. Millions of people still need food aid after two years of drought in Central America, the United Nations said. The mayor of a town in northern Mexico has blamed a brewery for causing acute water scarcity. Water levels in reservoirs across India remain well below average. Nutrient pollution near Columbus, Ohio triggered a drinking water advisory for nitrates. Floating solar panels could be used to curb evaporation from some of the largest reservoirs in the western United States.

“WE HAVE NO WATER FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.” –Leoncio Martínez Sánchez, mayor of Zaragoza in northern Mexico, in a letter to the governor of Coahuila accusing a brewery of depleting local water supplies to export beer to the United States. Officials at the brewery dispute the allegation. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

15 percent of capacity Level of water in India’s reservoirs over the past week, 17 percent below levels recorded at this time last year. Reuters

800,000 acre-feet Estimated amount of water lost annually to evaporation from Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States. Floating solar arrays could help produce energy and curb evaporation from western reservoirs at the same time, writes Philip Warburg. Yale Environment 360

10.5 parts per million Nitrate levels recorded at a drinking water plant in Columbus, Ohio’s state capital, forcing the city to issue a drinking water advisory for pregnant women and infants. Officials said the contamination was caused by heavy rainfall in surrounding areas last week that washed fertilizers into the Scioto River. The Columbus Dispatch

Science, Studies, And Reports

Approximately 3.5 million people in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras face food insecurity and require aid after consecutive years of drought, the United Nations reported. Leaders of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization called for climate change adaptation and projects to improve irrigation in order to build the region’s resilience to future droughts. Reuters

On The Radar

Florida’s governor has declared a state of emergency in two counties along the Atlantic Coast due to widespread blooms of toxic blue-green algae in coastal estuaries. Many residents are blaming the blooms on the release of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee, which water managers say is necessary to prevent floods. Guardian