At first glance the reports may appear very technical.
The main parameters that most people are interested in are Total Phosphorous, Chlorophyll-a, and Nitrogen.
You'll notice that there are no obvious trends with respect to these parameters in the report, and it is common not to evaluate data for trends unless there is at least 10 years worth of data. This is because many factors that affect water quality, such as weather, are out of anyone’s control and can skew data sets.
For example, 2010 was quite mild and resulted in relatively little chlorophyll-a in comparison to what I'm sure was a much 'greener' year this past summer.
What changes can all of us make because of this data?
What we can do as a stewardship group is continue to collect data - the more data the better. If there are changes to the lake in the future it will be the data we collect now that will help deal with these changes.
In addition, any available measures to reduce nutrients entering the lake (phosphorous and nitrogen) should be adopted.
Ultimately, ALMS goal is not to change green lakes to clear lakes, but to prevent changes to a lakes natural state. Without the background data that is being compiled in these reports, it is impossible to know what is natural and what is unnatural for . Please be assured that though the results of this report may not lead you to any exciting conclusions, the data collected over the years as a whole will be invaluable to the management of your lake.
IWLWLSA would like to acknowledge and thank Larry McPherson, Wizard Lake Estates, for volunteering his time and boat to take the technicians out on for the past 4 years. Without Stewards like Larry these valuable programs would not succeed.
What is the Program?
Alberta's volunteer lake monitoring program, known as Lakewatch, has been an important source of water quality data for lake & watershed stewardship groups, local government, provincial government, lake users, and cottage owners. ALMS (Alberta lake Management Society) manage this program.
Lakewatch strives to accomplish four primary objectives :
(i) Act as a platform for educating lake users about the aquatic environment;
(ii) Foster and enhance public involvement in lake management;
(iii) Facilitate linkages between aquatic scientists and lake users; and,
(iv) Provide reliable water quality data at significant cost-savings.
Financial Assistance for this website was provided by the Land Stewardship Centre