Reading: Toxic algal blooms and the rhetoric of sustainability


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Toxic algal blooms and the rhetoric of sustainability


Peter Cullen

About Peter
Water Research Centre University of Canberra PO Box 1 Belconnen ACT 2616.
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There is growing public concern with water pollution in Australia. The degradation of our waterways is seen by many as a national scandal. It is timely, in view of the fixation of various Governments with sustainability, to consider how we should manage this fundamental resource in a sustainable manner. Eutrophication comes about when nutrients enter water and stimulate excessive plant growth. The nutrients drive eutrophication and cause the excessive growth of nuisance algal that degrade the user of the water. Algae may cause an obvious scum on the surface. They give a distinct odour and/or colouration to the water which is unpleasant to consumers and may be costly and difficult to remove from water supplies. Cyanobacteria (Blue-green algae) may be toxic to stock, insects and to humans (May, 1978, Falconer et al., 1983).
How to Cite: Cullen, P., 2010. Toxic algal blooms and the rhetoric of sustainability. Wetlands Australia, 12(1), pp.16–22. DOI:
Published on 08 Jan 2010.
Peer Reviewed


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