Water is a very important and necessary natural resource that all living things require. Ensuring the health of Alberta Lakes is vital, and the Alberta Lake Management Society works with volunteers to promote the understanding and comprehensive management of lakes and reservoirs and their watersheds.
Chestermere resident Heather Davies has been volunteering her time for years, testing the waters of Chestermere Lake and collecting the data which will increase our knowledge of the lake’s function and management options.
According to the Alberta Lake Management Society website, The LakeWatch Program is a community water quality testing program offered to Albertans who are interested in collecting information about their local lake or reservoir. ALMS technicians assist volunteers to test the lakes 5 times during the summer, collecting important physical data such as water temperature, clarity and pH, as well as a suite of water chemistry parameters.
Once all the data is collected they produce a water quality report for the lake that both educates lake users and guides water restoration and management efforts. This information is eventually shared with the Government of Alberta and the University of Alberta and is used for research purposes.
Additional testing of Chestermere Lake includes that of phytoplankton, microscopic organisms that are at the base of the complex marine food web and are essential for human existence; a metals testing is performed and also an investigation to check for aquatic invasive species such as zebra mussels, which can spread quickly causing extensive damage to the ecosystem.
Alberta lakes are under pressure from increased development of industry, agriculture, residential, and recreational use. According to the Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development website, many factors influence water quality including climate and precipitation, soil type, geology, vegetation, groundwater, flow conditions and human activity.
For more information regarding The LakeWatch Program, visit the Alberta Lake Management Society website at www.alms.ca