Blue-green al­gae a spoiler

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

With the ar­rival of warmer weather across the re­gion we are again con­fronted with the scourge of our in­land recre­ation lakes and wa­ter­ways.

Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the wa­ter we’ve had a re­minder about our dreaded wa­tery sum­mer com­pan­ion – blue-green al­gae.

When Gwmwa­ter is­sued a blue-green al­gae warn­ing for Lake Wal­lace at Eden­hope this week we could al­most hear a col­lec­tive groan across the re­gion.

Blue-green al­gae is far from nice and the tox­ins some ver­sions of these cyanobac­te­ria can re­lease into wa­ter can be a sig­nif­i­cant health haz­ard.

Hear­ing of an out­break of this nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring phe­nom­e­non in one of our im­por­tant recre­ation lakes, es­pe­cially so early be­fore sum­mer, didn’t need.

There has been dis­cus­sion all year about the so­cio-eco­nomic ben­e­fits of recre­ation wa­ter in our re­gion.

But the value of this wa­ter can’t help but lose oomph when we have an al­gae prob­lem.

There has been con­sid­er­able re­search into these nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring bac­te­ria that mimic al­gae and ex­plode into life based on con­di­tions in­volv­ing sun­light, nu­tri­ents, weather and wa­ter flow or move­ment.

Cynobac­te­ria is such an in­te­gral part is news we of aquatic eco sys­tems and the en­vi­ron­ment over­all, it is hard to know if there is an ap­pro­pri­ate way of com­bat­ing or pre­vent­ing out­breaks on our lakes and rivers.

Con­sid­er­ing we have a greater un­der­stand­ing of just what recre­ation and en­vi­ron­men­tal wa­ter is worth, blue-green al­gae rep­re­sents a ma­jor hin­drance to mak­ing the most of this as­set.

It should also be an ex­tra stim­u­lant, if we didn’t have enough al­ready, for au­thor­i­ties to work with the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity to find more ways to tackle or man­age this an­nual prob­lem.


SIR, – As the only can­di­date for the state elec­tion in at­ten­dance at Stawell and Ararat agri­cul­tural shows last week­end I was im­pressed with Sarah De San­tis La­bor can­di­date for Ripon’s stall.

She and her team, in­stead of en­vi­ron­men­tally un­friendly bal­loons, were giv­ing away eco-friendly pin­wheels made from FSC cer­ti­fied ma­te­ri­als – fully re­cy­clable and sig­ni­fy­ing La­bor’s com­mit­ment to re­new­able en­ergy.

Sarah ex­plained that re­new­able en­ergy cre­ated jobs, drove growth and pro­tected our en­vi­ron­ment and most im­por­tantly helped drive down power prices.

The Grampians re­gion has emerged as Vic­to­ria’s engine room of re­new­able-en­ergy gen­er­a­tion and as­so­ci­ated eco­nomic growth.

Vic­to­ria con­tin­ues to lead the way in de­vel­op­ing new en­ergy pol­icy to re­duce green­house gases, tackle cli­mate change and de­liver Vic­to­rian Re­new­able En­ergy Tar­gets of 25 per­cent by 2020 and 40 per­cent by 2025.

Well done to Sarah De San­tis. Veron­ica Mon­aghan, Stawell

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