Water pollution warnings made half a century ago still entirely valid

28 June 2013

Here’s an excerpt from Wisconsin’s Wausau Daily that would be as valid today as it was 46 years ago.  Oh, that people had listened back then (or now for that matter!):

“Eutrophication.” That word was in the news this week in a release from the University of Wisconsin news service. Dr. Jack Bregman, assistant deputy for water pollution control of the Department of Interior told the International Symposium on Eutrophication that “Until now, we have not adequately controlled these causes which speed the eutrophication process (the natural aging of lakes). As a result, changes in our lakes which normally would have taken thousands of years may now be achieved in mere decades.” We in this beautiful area of a beautiful state must be concerned about adding excessive nutrients to our lakes and streams because, within a few years, a lake can become a marsh — and then dry land. …

This week there have been algal bloom warnings for Copco Reservoir (California), Sutton Lake (Washington DC) and Indiana has issued a general warning to lake users.

In Ohio, proposals to force farmers to become more aware about the dangers of over-fertilisation and water resource pollution are doing the rounds.  This extends to perhaps have to have farmers certificated to apply fertilizers.

In Oklahoma, Lakes Texoma and Tenkiller, annual regulars in Droplets CyanoAlert reports, are at it again:

While many lakefront businesses are preparing for an onslaught of tourists for next week’s Fourth of July holiday, officials at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are warning Oklahomans of record-setting blue-green algae levels at two corps-managed lakes.

In Alberta, Canada, a warning has been issued for Lake Isle (west of Edmonton) – hard to believe that lakes like this are suffering algal blooms at all.

And to close, this shocking news from New Zealand:

About 95 percent of New Zealand’s natural wetland ecosystems have been destroyed and “a significant number” of native freshwater fish species are under threat of extinction, a New Zealand biologist said Thursday.

University of Canterbury Associate Professor Jon Harding said water abstraction from some river systems for irrigation exceeded the total amount of water in the river.

“These issues are of particular concern when we consider the unique flora and fauna habit in our freshwaters,” Harding said in a statement.

“Despite our dependence on this vital resource, we frequently take it for granted and heavily pollute and abuse it,” he said.

“Many of our lowland streams, rivers and lakes are not clean. One of our largest lowland rivers, the Manawatu River, was recently described as one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Lake Ellesmere, or Te Waihora, is the largest lowland lake in New Zealand and it has been described as dead.”

Note To Droplets Readers:  The CyanoAlert and related articles carried by Droplets will terminate at the end of July due to funding constraints. Apologies to all our regular readers but this is beyond our control.

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