Another Chinese lake threatened by eutrophication

30 April 2012

The water quality in China’s Lake Tai is being impacted by agricultural fertilizers, this after a major effort to reduce chemical pollution in the country’s third largest lake.  China’s progress towards becoming the world’s new economic powerhouse has not been without cost, mostly massive environmental pollution.  This has the potential to stop their amazing progress dead in its tracks, or that of any other country not awake to the dangers.

"SOS Lake Tai" says this graffiti at the shore of the algae-infested lake in Jiangsu province. (Photo/CFP/WantChinaTimes)

There are some small success stories in the news, providing details of positive steps away from problematical algal blooms.  Buckeye Lake in Ohio is reporting improved conditions and the fish in Australia’s Gippsland Lakes apparently no longer contain traces of algal toxins!  Similar happy stories come from Washington State’s Anderson Lake, where large numbers of fishermen took to the water during the past weekend.

On the downside, water quality in New Yorks Honeoye Lake is reportedly declining.  Honeoye has problems dating back to 2007 or thereabouts.  Kings Bay in Florida is plagued by mats of the blue-green alga Lyngbya – and the town fathers have decided that unless they can deal with the problem at source, i.e. reduce nutrient levels, they are not going to waste thousands of dollars on cosmetic, symptomatic treatments.   At least someone seems to have their heads screwed on correctly!  ‘Aspirins for cancer’ is not a solution – you have to deal with it aggressively at the source.

On the bacteriological side, a case of avian botulism affecting ducks has been reported for Ellis Lake (Sacramento, USA).

And last, but certainly not the least irritating, swarms of lake flies (chrironimids) have made an early return to Lake Winnebago (Wisc) – possibly yet another sign of warmer climatic conditions.  But then, climate change is a myth, isn’t it? 😉

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