A Water Quality Wish for 2013

31 December 2012

Moonrise this evening over South Africa’s Riviersonderend (River without End) mountains – and the last night of 2012! (Photo: Bill Harding)

Events of the last few days have precluded me from summarising the articles and issues covered by Droplets during 2012.  What is clear, however, is that the quality of water in all spheres of water use (environment, potable, industrial and agriculture) remains an issue that is yet to be fully appreciated.  Lots more water will flow under the proverbial bridge before this happens – but progress is being made.

Perhaps the most reported lake for 2012 has been Lake Erie, the most threatened of the Great Lakes – a lake that was previously a success story in terms of reversing the impacts of eutrophication – but which has relapsed into a mix of biotic and water quality problems.  Whereas China’s Lake Taihu was probably the “problem lake of 2011”, this descriptor befits Lake Erie for 2012.

Beware of over-inflated self advertising (Photo: Rob Hart)

If I had a wish for 2013 it would be the hope that people across all strata of society endeavour to learn more about water quality issues and what is needed to address them.  Those commissioning “experts’ to “fix” their water quality related problems should be more discerning and not simply accept advertorial and sales hyperbole.  The recent advent of hayseed science underpinning “solutions” to just about everything from zebra mussels to cholera needs to be replaced by or aligned with real science.  Bottom line is don’t be accepting, ask for proof of concept.

My heartfelt thanks to all those who follow Droplets so closely!  Readership continues to grow steadily and it appears that these posts are succeeding in their aim of providing an education on water quality issues, in particular eutrophication.

Everything of the very best to all for 2013!  It does not appear that it will be an easy year – but this should be motivation for ensuring that things are done properly!


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