Finalist: Sustainable Water Management Award
In 2016, Seqwater’s Cyanotoxin Recreational Water Quality Management project was developed to increase recreational access to lakes while protecting the health of visitors from cyanotoxins. Seqwater identified a need to update its approach to managing recreational access to 17 lakes during cyanobacterial blooms.
The previous approach followed national protocols and guidelines, and focussed on ‘proxy indicators’ rather than actual cyanotoxin levels in the water. This resulted in long closures to water-based recreation and impacted the public’s enjoyment of the lakes and local economy.
The success of the project has meant no lakes were closed due to elevated cyanotoxins in the 2016-17 summer, even in the presence of highly elevated algal biovolume which would have closed the lakes for extended periods of time under the previous program.