This week a stretch of the Santa Fe River near Poe Springs began to run green with algae. And it is only a matter of time, perhaps just days, before Poe Springs itself stops flowing.
The springs’ average flow is 47 cubic feet per second. That’s now down to less than half a cubic foot.
It is convenient to blame the drought for both conditions; to shrug it off as an act of God. But while the lack of rain is a problem, two other man-made contributing factors — over-pumping of the groundwater and nitrogen pollution of the river — should not be ignored.
Santa Fe is an Outstanding Florida Water, but efforts by state environmental officials and regional water managers to “rescue” the much abused river are ineffectual to nonexistent.