Requirements for Lake Management

  • Charles R. Goldman
  • M. R. James
  • W. Vant
  • C. Severne


Fresh water, the most essential resource, is in increasingly short supply globally and is likely to be the cause of future conflicts. As an essential but seriously undervalued “commodity”, it should take its place among the other well-known commodities and be better managed by world governments. Aquatic ecosystems worldwide are under increasing anthropogenic stress. This situation necessitates a more rapid conversion of scientific studies into effective management decisions. Atmospheric-borne pollution of the world’s ecosystems demonstrates the importance of achieving a global perspective as we are forced to face the growing challenge of declining environmental quality. The conservation of lakes and streams as well as the protection of drinking water sources is now of urgent concern. The continuing loss of clarity in Lake Tahoe provides a vivid example of the problems being faced globally. Lake Tahoe is losing its remarkable Secchi transparency at an annual rate of 0.3 meters as algal growth rates increase concomitantly. A multidisciplinary approach has been essential to developing effective management strategies at Tahoe and elsewhere for solving increasingly complex environmental problems. Long-term data collection, including paleolimnological studies of sedimentation and pollutants, has been key to better understanding and managing the lake, its surrounding watershed, and basin air quality. Previously, many policy decisions by regulatory agencies were based on scanty short-term data that were methodologically lacking or subject to superficial interpretation. The latter case was exemplified by a brief drought-related improvement in transparency at Tahoe. Educating the public and their political leadership is increasingly a very important task for the scientific community. Modern ecologists and limnologists have a responsibility to help meet the growing global challenge for restoration and preservation of threatened water supplies. Strong environmental science based on long-term studies must be at the forefront in developing improved adaptive management practices for both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems worldwide.


Water Quality Management Plan Water Clarity Regional Council Indigenous Group 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles R. Goldman
    • 1
  • M. R. James
    • 2
  • W. Vant
    • 3
  • C. Severne
    • 4
  1. 1.Tahoe Research Group Department of Environmental Science and PolicyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research LtdHamiltonNew Zealand
  3. 3.Environment WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  4. 4.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research LtdChristchurchNew Zealand

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