The Stream, July 17, 2019: Lake Erie Algae Bloom Could Endanger Drinking Water in Michigan, Ohio

The Global Rundown

A large algae bloom in Lake Erie threatens drinking water in Michigan and Ohio. Parts of Chile could be without water by 2030 due to prolonged drought. Drought spreads through much of Europe on the heels of a record-breaking June heatwave. High water levels in Michigan hint at the future problems of climate change. As land ownership laws shift in South Africa, the country considers a water transformation bill.

“95% of the licensed water volume is still in the hands of white commercial farmers, leaving 5% currently allocated to emerging black farmers. As we talk about transformation of land ownership, we should understand that land ownership with no access to water will take us nowhere.”” –Lindiwe Sisulu, the Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister of South Africa, in reference to “glaring inequalities” in land and water rights. The country is proposing a water transformation bill to cut corruption and improve equality in water allocation. Bloomberg

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By The Numbers

11 million U.S. residents who rely on Lake Erie for drinking water. An algae bloom is spreading across Lake Erie and could be seen from the air last weekend. The bloom contains low levels of toxins, which could become problematic if it nears the water intakes for Monroe, Michigan, or Toledo, Ohio. WXYZ Detroit

In context: With Heavy Spring Rains, Lake Erie Algal Bloom Forecast Gets Worse and Worse

10+ Countries in Europe that experienced the hottest June ever recorded, including France, the Netherlands, and Slovakia. In the wake of the heatwave, a drought is sweeping through the continent, affecting water availability for households and farmland. France24 

In context: HotSpots H2O: France Endures Hottest Day on Record as Heatwave Parches Europe.

Science, Studies, and Reports

Central Chile’s Valparaiso region, along with the country’s capital city of Santiago, are enduring the worst drought in 60 years. Experts fear the drought could continue indefinitely due to warming temperatures and water exploitation, potentially leaving some areas without water by 2030. Al Jazeera

On the Radar

The abnormally high water levels along the Detroit River are likely a hint at the future impact of climate change on Michigan waterways, experts say. Although the high water levels cannot be directly linked to climate change, the current conditions could become more commonplace if increases in natural variation occur. Detroit Free Press

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