Ground Water Canada

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Scientists urge governments to reduce phosphorus inputs to reduce algal blooms in lakes


August 22, 2016
By Ground Water Canada

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Alberta – A University of Alberta study suggests the current recommendation to remove both nitrogen and phosphorus to reduce algal blooms in lakes is no more effective than removing just phosphorus.

Several prominent Canadian and American scientists are urging governments around the world to focus on controlling phosphorus to decrease the frequency and intensity of algal blooms in freshwaters, the University of Alberta said in a news release.

A feature article by university scientists was published in Environmental Science & Technology, a influential environmental science journal. The article reviews the results of whole-lake studies where phosphorus, nitrogen or both elements had been controlled, the release said.

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“Thirty seven long-term, whole-lake studies conducted in nine countries in Europe and North America showed that controlling a single element, phosphorus, reduced algal blooms in lakes,” says David Schindler, professor emeritus at the University of Alberta and the study’s lead author.

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