Thursday, May 29, 2014

Another dead lake

Last night, Campbell Live visited Lake Waikare in the Waikato - and found it coloured blood-red from an algal bloom:

Less than an hour from Auckland, reporter Tristram Clayton found a freshwater lake, Lake Waikare, that is stained blood red from one side to the other – giving a terrifying glimpse of what New Zealand could look like if nothing changes.

For 45 years, Ian Browning has been coming to Lake Waikare in north Waikato for the duck shooting season, but this year he needn't have bothered.

"Last week we came and I saw six ducks in three days," says Mr Browning. "It's changed from thousands of birds to single figures, just about; it's amazing how they've dropped."

The problem is an algal bloom so bad it's suffocating an entire ecosystem.

And it now threatens to poison an internationally-recognised wetland downstream.

People used to swim in this lake. Now they can't. They used to fish and hunt from it. They can't do that either. And the culprit is pretty clear: years of dairy farming (everything else has been cleaned up. Only farmers get to keep spewing their shit into our waterways).

This is why we need environmental bottom lines for our waterways, and land-use restrictions and stocking limits for farmers. sadly, I don't think we'll see them under this government.