In recent years, algal blooms in Utah Lake and the Great Salt Lake have garnered national attention. These algal blooms have triggered responses such as increased monitoring, beach closures and reduced recreational use, issuing public health warnings, and restricting use of untreated surface water supplies for irrigation. Historically, agencies and resource managers have had to react to reports of blooms from recreational users or monitoring groups, resulting in delays in response and action. Using remote sensing imagery and field samples, the historical record of algal blooms for the complex lake system has been constructed and used to relate water quality conditions to local climate conditions and external factors and inputs to the system. This record provides valuable information about long-term patterns, as well as what factors might be influencing or driving them. The relationships between historical water quality and factors/inputs can be used to forecast short-term conditions. The ability to forecast when and where poor conditions are likely to occur has important ramifications for monitoring strategies and has the potential to improve water management response and planning in the future.
Carly Hansen– Research Assistant, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Carly Hansen is a Ph.D. student and Research Assistant in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. She is currently working as part of the Urban Water Group. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Brigham Young University in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Carly’s focus is on surface water quality modeling and water resource management, with an emphasis on GIS and remote sensing techniques.