Diminishing water clarity results in tough year for Lake Tahoe

By on August 26, 2011

According to a study released by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency water clarity dropped by almost 4 feet since last year — from 68.1 feet in 2009 to 64.4 feet in 2010.

The State of the Lake Report 2011 indicates that favorable climate conditions responsible for conserving a single-cell, free-floating algae called Cyclotella, may be one major cause of diminishing water clarity in Lake Tahoe. Additionally, invasive species such as Asian clams, and clogging water intakes may also contribute to the decline in lake clarity.

Data derived from satellite images of the entire lake revealed that water clarity is better at one mile offshore than it is within a half-mile of the shore. Moreover, the decline in water clarity has resulted in a drop in property value around the lake, alarming local basin property owners.

Read more at UC Davis News.

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