Addressing The Problem
Addressing The Problem

Phosphorus is a naturally occurring nutrient and, at normal levels, it isn’t harmful. But elevated levels of phosphorus in water from all land uses including urbanization and agriculture can overload a body of water, creating toxic algal blooms under some summer conditions. Runoff from agricultural fields that collects in municipal drains is major source of phosphorus.

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Working Together
Working Together

The Thames River Basin in Ontario covers an area of more than 16,000 square km's. Reducing phosphorus is a massive job that requires the co-operative efforts of many. That’s why the Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative represents a wide variety of interested groups– including conservation authorities, farm groups, First Nations and environmental organizations as well as municipal, provincial and federal governments – who are collaborating to tackle the issue.

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Innovative Approaches
Innovative Approaches

This project is focused specifically on:   - Examining, with our many partners, agricultural production practices and drainage solutions to prevent phosphorus loss at different points on the landscape - Investigating innovative designs for drainage systems - Evaluating technologies and equipment that remove and recover nutrients in drainage water - Addressing monitoring needs - Building a business case for additional funding to continue the work - Sharing all results with those who can use them.

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Our Vision.

 A suite of effective land management and drainage solutions for agriculture, developed cooperatively with partners, for reducing phosphorus and improving water quality in the Thames River.

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To Help Clean Up LAKE ERIE.

Lake Erie is the shallowest and warmest of the Great Lakes. It has a total surface area of 25,700 square kilometres and an average depth of only 19 metres. The lake’s Western Basin, which is where most of the algal bloom problem occurs, averages only 7.4 metres deep, compared to Lake Superior – the deepest – which averages 147 metres. These conditions make it an ideal environment for algal blooms to proliferate as water warms up during the summer.

 

Lake Erie is a critical resource that fulfils many important functions:

  • Provides drinking water to 680,000 Ontario residents

  • Supplies water for crop irrigation

  • Supports large commercial and recreational fisheries

  • Provides habitat for hundreds of plant and animal species both
    on the land and in the water

  • Draws residents and visitors for recreation and tourism

The warming effects of climate change, combined with pressures from phosphorus loading mean we need to act now to ensure Lake Erie continues to thrive in the coming years.

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The warming effects of climate change, combined with pressures from phosphorus loading means we need to act now to ensure Lake Erie continues to thrive in the coming years.