The Stream, October 23, 2019: Florida Governor Proposes New Legislation to Limit Toxic Algae Blooms

The Global Rundown

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis proposes new legislature to mitigate toxic algae blooms in the state. Residents in Mexico grapple with minimized access to the Colorado River, which is dammed at the U.S.-Mexico border. Manila, Philippines, may face daily water cuts. Forecasts show a wetter-than-normal winter for the Missouri River watershed. Ethiopia’s prime minister warns that the country could ready “millions” if military action is needed to resolve disputes over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. 

“Some say things about use of force (by Egypt). It should be underlined that no force could stop Ethiopia from building a dam. If there is a need to go to war, we could get millions readied. If some could fire a missile, others could use bombs. But that’s not in the best interest of all of us.” –Abiy Ahmed, prime minister of Ethiopia, in reference to an ongoing dispute with Egypt over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Recent talks between the two nations and Sudan are currently stalled, with Egypt is calling for outside mediation. Al Jazeera

In context: HotSpots H2O: Egypt and Ethiopia Spar Over Nile River Dam in Latest Round of Talks

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By The Numbers

9 hours Length of time that daily water cuts in Manila, Philippines, could last, according to an announcement by the Manila Water Co. The utility says that the cuts may be necessary to ensure water supply for the rest of the year. Bloomberg

Science, Studies, and Reports

On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis introduced legislation aimed at limiting algae blooms in the state. The bill was influenced by recommendations from a Blue-Green Algae Task Force created in response to major algae outbreaks across Florida last year. The legislation focuses on farm runoff and faltering septic, wastewater, and stormwater systems, but falls short of stricter measures on agricultural and septic oversight. The Miami Herald

On the Radar

Decades ago, the Colorado River flowed freely from the United States into Mexico, providing drinking and irrigation water for millions in both countries. A series of dams built in the mid-twentieth century depleted the Colorado’s flow into Mexico and today the Mexican river channel is mostly empty. Residents say the river’s loss took away both a water supply and a part of their identity. The Guardian 

The U.S. National Weather Service warns that more wet weather is expected in the Missouri River watershed this winter and the upcoming spring. The region, which is still recovering from flooding this spring, is in the midst of the wettest 12 months on record. Omaha World-Herald

In context: Historic Missouri River Flood Damages Water Infrastructure.

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