Although less than one per cent of all water in the world is freshwater, it is what we drink and use for agriculture.
Although less than one per cent of all water in the world is freshwater, it is what we drink and use for agriculture. In other words, it’s vital to human survival. York University researchers have just created a publicly available water quality database for close to 12,000 freshwater lakes globally – almost half of the world’s freshwater supply – that will help scientists monitor and manage the health of these lakes.
The study, led by Faculty of Science Postdoctoral Fellow Alessandro Filazzola and master’s student Octavia Mahdiyan, collected data for lakes in 72 countries, from Antarctica to the United States and Canada. Hundreds of the lakes are in Ontario.
“The database can be used by scientists to answer questions about what lakes or regions may be faring worse than others, how water quality has changed over the years and which environmental stressors are most important in driving changes in water quality,” says Filazzola.
The team included a host of graduate and undergraduate students working in the laboratory of Associate Professor Sapna Sharma in addition to a collaboration with Assistant Professor Derek Gray of Wilfrid Laurier University, Associate Professor Catherine O’Reilly of Illinois State University and York University Associate Professor Roberto Quinlan.
Continue reading at York University.
Image via Amanda Liczner.