Dr. Robin Matthews and her team of researchers have issued the annual Lake Whatcom Monitoring Project report for 2010, and the results are not encouraging.
“I don’t think that we’re stabilizing yet,” Matthews said. “I was hoping that we might have been.”
Water quality analysis for the previous two years offered some small evidence that the quality of lake water might at least be stabilizing, although at a less-than desirable level. But the data collected in 2010 is mostly bad: dissolved oxygen levels in lake water are down, and phosphorus and algae levels are increasing.
Until 2009, those measurements didn’t seem to have any real-world impact. But in summer 2009, the algae levels got high enough to reduce capacity at the city water filtration plant, resulting in drastic steps to reduce city water consumption.
We’ll have a full story on Dr. Matthews’ report in print and online for Thursday, March 17. (Green water for St. Patrick’s Day?)