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U of R study says south Sask. water toxicity rising due to algae, global warming, farm run-off – Regina Leader-Post

by ahnationtalk on June 23, 202047 Views

Water researchers at the University of Regina are using the results of their 11-year study in south Saskatchewan to conclude increasing algae blooms in the area’s lakes are putting out more toxins that could be harmful to humans.

Working out of the U of R’s Institute of Environmental Change and Society, the group of four researchers studied from 2005 to 2016 the following lakes: Buffalo Pound, Last Mountain, Pasqua, Katepwa, Crooked and Wascana. The area, called the Qu’Appelle River drainage basin, covers 52,000 square kilometres, or roughly 40 per cent of south Saskatchewan; that’s about 89 per cent of Lake Michigan’s surface area in size.

The group says global warming, urban growth and spring run-off from farm fertilizers have increased pollution levels of the lakes’ freshwaters; that pollution has increased the growth of blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria), which produces microcystin, a cancer-causing toxin.

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