Toledo algae bloom forces a reset of priorities; challenges definition of “safe”

Last week, the nearly half-million residents of Toledo, Ohio were given a grim warning: “Don’t drink the water.” Due to an enormous toxic algae bloom on Lake Erie, dangerous levels of the poisonous bacterial product microcystin entered Toledo’s water supply, prompting Governor John Kasich to declare a state of emergency.

I don’t mind telling you I’m from that area. I live in Texas now, but regularly entertain thoughts of moving home, partly because of the water. The Great Lakes region – the world’s most plentiful freshwater source – may one day be a mecca amid widespread desertification. But if the water is poisoned, it’ll hardly remain attractive for long. Continue reading

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