Australia is pumping oxygen into lakes and rivers as a 'Band-Aid solution' to stop thousands of fish from dying
Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP
- Droughts, heatwaves, and algal blooms are contributing to low levels of oxygen in some Australian lakes and rivers.
- Roughly one million dead fish were found in a river in New South Wales last week.
- To stop more fish from dying, the state government will use aerators to pump oxygen into waterways.
- Niall Blair, the minister for regional water, acknowledged that these machines are only a temporary solution.
A state government in Australia plans on pumping oxygen into rivers and lakes in response to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of fish.Nearly one million rotting fish were found in a New South Wales river last week, and another 1,800 dead fish have been spotted in a lake since then, according to the Associated Press.
According to the AP, experts have said the low oxygen levels in lakes and rivers are the product of droughts, heatwaves, and algal blooms. The dead fish are rotting quickly because of high temperatures; some parts of New South Wales have recently seen highs of about 114 degrees Fahrenheit, The Independent reported.Officials are working on cleaning the waterways that contain dead fish, but Daniel Connell, a water expert at Australian National University, told the AP that more fish will likely die this week amid the ongoing heatwaves.
allowed farmers to take water from Australia's primary water system, the Murray-Darling Basin, to irrigate crops.
"By massively reducing the amount of water in the system, you produce much hotter water, you produce conditions that are much more conducive to algal blooms," he told the AP.
Niall Blair, the minister for regional water, said these fish will only stop dying if the river flows are improved and the water levels in dams return to normal, according to the AP. He acknowledged that the aerators will not fix the problem."They are a Band-Aid solution; we admit that," Blair said.
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