The Global Rundown
Florida’s first chief science officer plans to prioritize water quality issues. Aid groups warn of deepening drought in Somalia. Deadly tornadoes strike Ohio and record-breaking floods hit Arkansas and Oklahoma. A California beach is shut down after sewage flowed out of Mexico’s Tijuana River. Alaska’s wettest region is experiencing its first ‘extreme drought’ on record.
“There’s a clear focus in this state right now on water quality issues, so that is my priority moving forward. Rising sea levels are [also] a priority issue and factor prominently in how we’re looking at some of the other issues we’re dealing with.” –Dr. Tom Frazer, Florida’s first chief science officer, in reference to water problems in the state. Florida governor Ron DeSantis created the position just after he took office earlier this year. The Guardian
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
In Mississippi River Flood Fight, Army Corps Prepares to Open Rarely Used Spillway — The Morganza spillway will redirect some of the river’s surging waters to protect Louisiana’s big cities and its levee system.
HotSpots H2O: Two Years After Siege, Thousands Still Lack Clean Water in Philippines City — Two years after an Islamic State siege on Marawi, tens of thousands of people still have not returned to their homes in the lakeside city in the southern Philippines.
By The Numbers
1 million Children in Somalia who are expected to be malnourished by the end of 2019 if current drought conditions persist, according to the International Relief Committee (IRC). The humanitarian group warns that current drought conditions may be worse than the lead-up to Somalia’s 2017 famine. IRC
65,000 Homes and businesses in Ohio that were without power at the beginning of the week following heavy storms and tornadoes that left one person dead. State officials have issued boil-water advisories due to water plant and pump outages. Elsewhere in the U.S., Arkansas and Oklahoma are grappling with record-breaking floods. Reuters
Science, Studies, and Reports
Southeast Alaska, the wettest region in the state, is in the midst of its first “extreme drought” since the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) began taking records. The region has been experiencing drier-than-average weather for the past two years, and was recently upgraded to a D3 (Extreme Drought) status by the USDM . U.S. News & World Report
On the Radar
California extended a closure of the state’s Imperial Beach coast after more sewage-contaminated runoff leached from Mexico’s Tijuana River. An estimated 110 million gallons of tainted water have flowed from Mexico to the California coastline since April. Officials say the beach will remain closed until testing verifies the water’s safety. Associated Press
Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter