The CyanoLakes online monitoring and mapping service for cyanobacteria blooms and water pollution
Cyanobacteria blooms occurring in fresh and brackish waters present a substantial risk to recreational water users due to the potential for acute and chronic negative health effects. With anthropogenic sources of organic pollutants and warming climates presenting ideal conditions for the proliferation of cyanobacteria blooms, their frequency, geographical distribution and severity are increasing in many places around the world, and in Australia.
Satellite remote sensing provides a cost-effective, powerful and efficient solution for obtaining reliable systematic estimates of chlorophyll-a and cyanobacteria counts. This provides the opportunity to monitor at a spatial scale and temporal frequency unrivalled by traditional monitoring approaches. The resulting information, guided by international standards, can be used to mitigate health risks and provide advisories for recreational users. This has high value for governments tasked with routine regulatory monitoring, water utilities providing potable water and industries such as aquaculture and agriculture.
CyanoLakes' fully-commercial online solution allows monitoring and mapping of cyanobacteria, algae and aquatic weeds in near real-time from the client's desktop. The technology, developed and piloted in South Africa, will be demonstrated live for several Australian waterbodies affected by cyanobacteria blooms. This will show how it could be used as an early-warning service and as a long-term monitoring solution to supplement existing monitoring programs and databases in Australia.