Sustainable management of lakes in connection with mitigation of adverse effects of climate change, agriculture and development of green micro regions based on renewable energy production

Sandor Antal Nemethy, Gabor Molnar

Abstract


Lake management is extremely complex and requires a coordinated effort of research institutions, community groups, individuals, landowners, and government. Lakes constitute an important group of natural resources due to their ecosystem services and often unique cultural environments. Climate change is a growing concern, which particularly strongly affects shallow lakes. The adverse impact of climate change is enhanced by extreme water level fluctuations and human factors such as environmental pollution from waste water discharge, large scale agriculture and shoreline constructions reducing or eliminating valuable wetlands. Since eutrophication is a leading cause of impairment of freshwater ecosystems, specific strategies to address a lake's nutrient enrichment must focus on activities in the watershed and, if needed, in-lake restoration techniques. Analyzing the key factors of sustainable local and regional development in the vicinity of lakes, assessing the environmental risks of pollution, large scale agriculture, waste management and energy production, we propose a complex, stakeholder based management system and holistic regional development in lake areas, which will preserve natural ecosystems without compromising the sustainable use of ecosystem services. There are available technologies to develop ecologically acceptable water level regulations, promote organic agriculture applying grey water irrigation, stop leachate from landfills and control invasive species. Regional and local production and use of renewable energy is essential both for environmental and economical sustainability. Renewable energy production should be well coordinated with agriculture, forestry, waste management and management of water resources of lakes and their watershed areas in a sustainable, holistic way through a participatory approach. This is particularly pronounced in connection with tourism as one of the main uses of lake-ecosystem services, but also an environmental risk for natural ecosystems when mass tourism and short-sighted profit are the driving forces.


Keywords


Water level fluctuations; cyanobacteria; eutrophication; stakeholder management; organic farming; renewable energy; ecosystem services

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References


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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2281-4485/4527

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