22 December 2010

Australia: Cooby Dam (Toowoomba) has been closed to the public – which has put a damper on planned Xmas recreation.  Also in Oz, algae have been found in the water supply to Port Macquarie (Port Macquarie and Cowarra Dams).  While they don’t say what type of algae, they do mention musty odours, which points to cyanobacteria being the most-likely problem.  In Canberra, as well as in Windermere and Burrendong Dams, an increased frequency of algal blooms is starting to affect the economic stability as sporting groups seek cleaner waters.

Back home there have not been any updates on the Wildevoelvlei outbreak but the surfing community are concerned as the discharge from the vlei is at Noordhoek Beach. I wonder if they know how long this problem has been around?  However, warnings for the already massively-stressed Vaal River again highlight the long-denied Water Crisis warnings!

Vaal River Crisis

In the Baltic Sea (which is actually relatively fresh), there is concern that increasing levels of eutrophication are linked to increased cyanotoxicity. A big problem in the more saline environments are species such as Nodularia spumigena, the cyanobacterium that killed a dog in Zeekoevlei (Cape Town, South Africa), some years ago.  In South Africa there is an increase in another species tolerant of saline conditions, Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii.

Canada and the USA are starting to confront the scale and costs of attenuating eutrophication – and are starting to realize that they should have done so years ago!  The longer eutrophication is allowed to be in place, the more resilient the negative impacts become!  Some really nasty facts from Canada (= First World Country).  China continues to openly report on the parlous state of its water supplies!  Most projects have got it right though, target the nutrients at the source rather than attempt cosmetic, end of pipe approaches!

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