Towards a comprehensive framework for the management, risk assessment, and mitigation of toxic cyanobacteria

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    [Truncated abstract] We are experiencing a severe water crisis due to the global mismanagement of water quality and quantity. A major deleterious outcome of this mismanagement has been an increase in nutrient inputs to waterways, resulting in anthropogenic eutrophication. This increase in nutrient loading, combined with environmental conditions such as warm temperatures and stagnant waters, has led to the occurrence of frequent toxic cyanobacterial blooms. These blooms are of concern due to their risk to human and ecological health and water treatment efficiency, and their frequency is predicted to increase under future climate change scenarios. It is thus imperative that strategies are devised and implemented to ensure that the incidence of hazardous blooms is managed effectively to reduce their impact upon ecological and human communities. The first step in managing any hazard is a thorough risk assessment. A framework has been developed to assess the risk of cyanobacterial blooms in a variety of freshwater reservoirs. This can be used to determine the optimum cyanobacterial monitoring regime which will reduce the risk of toxic blooms harming human and ecological communities. The assessment also allows agencies to determine the risk a bloom poses once it exists, dependent upon its physical characteristics and the potential for the infected water to interact with humans and the environment. The completion of the assessment then leads to the determination of the action required to manage the bloom. Many procedures for managing cyanobacterial blooms have been investigated in the past, yielding mixed results. The use of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) for cyanobacterial and cyanobacterial toxin (cyanotoxin) removal has been suggested as an environmentally benign mitigation method for the management of toxic blooms.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2012


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