There are three main aims within this research theme:Urban Lakes. Image: Melbourne Water

1) To assess the impact of climate change resilience strategies on mitigating nuisance and harmful algal risk through asset design and operational guidelines.

The hydraulic residence of shallow water bodies strongly influences their treatment efficacy and the risk of nuisance and harmful algal bloom development. The Melbourne Water Design Guidelines for Constructed Shallow Lake Systems proposes residence times to minimise this risk. However, these are based on only a small data set for one cyanobacterial species.  More accurate estimates of maximum in situ specific growth rates are required. 

2) To develop efficient and cost-effective algal management protocols using early warning information provided by well-validates field probes, test kits and predictive models.

Algal bloom surveillance and prediction in relation to large, dynamic reservoirs and wastewater lagoons is notoriously difficult. This research-practice theme will review and improve existing mechanistic models (e.g. CAEDYM) and develop statistical models that optimise the use of existing and readily available data.

3) To understand the conditions that promote nuisance algal blooms in our region both in fresh water bodies and marine environments (all management assets/product streams) including river and catchment management practices, nutrients movement and availability, hydraulic parameters affecting the bloom movement and accumulation in water bodies and bays.

This research-practice theme will model, document, compare and contrast the morphological, hydraulic, biological and other relevant physico-chemical attributes of waterbodies within the Greater Melbourne region in order to develop cogent theories (i) as to why some waterbodies exhibit blooms and others do not, (ii) where and when blooms are most likely to develop.

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