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US water quality expert to speak at Science Evening

Friday, 7 November 2014 10:00 a.m.

An American water quality expert who has studied and modelled the effects of nutrients in USA lakes will be sharing his knowledge at a public forum in Rotorua on Thursday 20 November.

Dr Dale Robertson will be the special guest speaker at the November Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme Science Evening - which the public are invited to attend.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Lake Operations Manager Andy Bruere said he’s delighted to have Dr Robertson speak about his experiences of restoring water quality in Delavan Lake, Wisconsin.

“We are honoured to host Dr Robertson,” Mr Bruere said. “His presentation on restoring Delavan Lake highlights the importance of reducing nutrients within a catchment to restore lake water quality. It’s incredibly relevant to the situation we currently have with Lake Rotorua.”

Excessive nutrient loading to Delavan Lake resulted in the lake becoming hypereutrophic meaning it had low transparency, was rich in nutrients and had severe blue-green algae blooms. Dr Robertson was part of a team which led one of the most extensive rehabilitation efforts conducted on the lake from 1990–1993 to improve the lake’s water quality and fishery.  His team’s efforts successfully reduced nutrients in the lake leading to low algal production and generally much better water quality.

“The insight that Dr Robertson provides from his success with Delavan Lake is invaluable to the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme,” Mr Bruere said.

As well as Dr Robertson’s presentation, other research important to the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme will be shared at the Science Evening. The programme includes presentations about how to farm in an environmentally and economically sustainable way, and on projects that are taking place in Rotorua to monitor local water species such as koura (fresh water crayfish), kakahi (fresh water mussels) and koaro(native fresh water fish).

The Science Evening will be held on Thursday 20 November, from 6 – 8pm at Holiday Inn, Tryon Street, Rotorua.

RSVP online on the Rotorua Lakes website or call Hariata Ngatai 0800 884 881 ext 7445.


Research topics and presenters:

The Importance of Biological Interactions in the Long-term Rehabilitation of Delavan Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Dr Dale Robertson, U.S Geological Survey


Making farming sustainable economically and environmentally

Dr Alison Dewes, Headlands, Waikato


Koura and Kakahi monitoring for Ohau Diversion Wall.

Ian Kusabs


Cultural Health project

Alisatair Suren & Wally Lee


Koaro Restoration Project at Hamurana

Gina Mohi & Rikihana Hancock