CSIRO works on plan to detect blue-green algae blooms faster
THE CSIRO is developing a blue-green algae early warning detection system to reduce the risk of harmful blooms.
Lennox Head's Lake Ainsworth is periodically affected by algal blooms, which can cause irritations, asthma and diarrhoea.
A recent bloom in the Richmond River at Casino has also prompted a warning to residents from Richmond Valley Council.
At stronger concentrations nerve and liver toxins may be present.
Kevin Humphries, the Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water, said the $1.3 million project between the NSW Government and the CSIRO would reduce the impact blooms have on human health, the environment and regional economies.
"The programs to monitor blue-green algae and issue public warnings by the NSW Office of Water are some of the most advanced in the world, but the current system relies on collecting water samples and laboratory analysis, which can have a lag time of several days," he said.
"While this method is reliable, the NSW Government and the CSIRO are developing new optical remote sensing techniques that will provide more expansive information about blue-green algae issues in water sources with near real-time access to information."