Forecasting Tools and Mitigation Options for Diverse Bloom-Affected Lakes (FORMBLOOM)

(Sponsor: Global Water Futures/Canada First Research Excellence Fund)

Solving the problem of blooms requires an understanding of how the physical environment links to geochemistry and bloom ecology, and this understanding must exist on the timescale upon which blooms develop and collapse – minutes to hours to weeks. Blooms are one of the most vexing and widespread problems in lakes and reservoirs globally. Nuisance biomass of algae and cyanobacteria can lead to degradation of ecosystem services, loss of property values, and high costs for drinking water treatment. Blooms of cyanobacteria can lead to issues of unpleasant taste and odour and can have direct impacts on the safety of drinking water supplies by producing a variety of toxins which also impose health risks for swimmers and boaters. Cyanobacterial blooms and blooms of other taxa have been increasing across Canada and across the globe. While efforts to control eutrophication have been underway for decades, issues of blooms continue to worsen. This project marries work on risk communication to bloom forecasting, monitoring and mitigation. New technology is being applied to develop forecasting tools.

Collaborating institutions: University of Saskatchewan (Helen Baulch, PI), University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University

Visit FORMBLOOM on the GWF website for further information.