Predicting the Future of Water Stewardship

Look at recent developments and the future becomes clear

Having been afforded the opportunity to make a difference relative to water management, (after all, I have my own research laboratory in Fish Fry Lake) recent developments are exciting. Here’s what I’m talking about:

  1. Pandemic numbers of nutrient rich waterways are a recent phenomenon associated with current agricultural practices that result in orthophosphate and nitrogen concentrations in fresh water that further result in vastly higher volume of methane production than would occur naturally. But— tracking this phenomenon is actually straightforward. A $50 test will precisely quantify volume of methane, a particularly volatile gas, in water.
  2. Transitioning nutrient rich waterways back to health is now also straightforward. Nanobubbler technology provides a new and highly effective way to restore freshwater from methane production to a far more moderate carbon dioxide basis.
  3. Floating photovoltaic systems are supremely well positioned to provide solar power to achieve this worthy goal, and in the process to achieve healthy water along with massive methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), reduction.

What does this mean as far as predicting the future?

For starters, a rich source of current GHG emissions can be addressed and dealt with on a sustainable and actually, profitable basis. What with the Biden administration’s climate action emphasis, this is a no-brainer. Fixing slightly more than half of the freshwater lakes across the United States, the number that represents the current level of nutrient impairment, is not just achievable but both affordable and profitable.

Here’s who benefits:

  1. Drinking Water Reservoir managers
  2. Climate Action Advocates
  3. Lake Homeowner Organizations currently contending with Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs)
  4. Sportsmen/sportswomen groups

And the general public! After all, we are all in this together. Climate action and GHG reduction benefits everyone.

Is climate change something to worry about?

On a personal note, I’ve experienced tennis ball size hail in August, in a setting that had never seen this kind of weather event before, here in Shepherd, Montana. I’ve also directly experienced other indicative climate change signals. For example, three years ago I shot and harvested wood ducks in December, here in Shepherd. That’s approximately two months later than normal. This year I shot and harvested greenwing teal on January 20, more like three months past their normal residence time here in Montana. Predicting the future dates of my duck hunts is beyond my powers, but I’ve got my suspicions.

These are just a few immediate examples of climate change events. Note that the year 2020 matched, or slightly exceeded, the warmest year ever recorded by humans here on planet earth. Bottom line, climate change is happening. Predicting our future survival? We may survive it. Or we might not. But GHG reduction, including preventing methane coming from anoxic freshwater lakes, expands our options, and provides at least a measure of hope.

Predicting the future is complex, like nature

So many of us hate complexity. It represents uncertainty and change. But here’s a prospective new vision. Climate action means that we have new opportunity to think. We can buy time with which to actually perform. To work towards quality of life.

I will be remembering and thinking about this blog entry later this year, as I fish for bass on Fish Fry Lake. There will be moments when I hook at least one bass with every sixth cast on an evening on Fish Fry Lake. While this would not have happened a generation ago, it does now! Our quality of life is something we can steward for. Life can be rich and hopeful, even in the face of complexity, of change.