b'INTERNATIONAL WATERSWUXI ChinaJIANGSU SUZHOUPROVINCELAKE TAIHU Green markers represent networked hydromet and water quality buoys deployed throughout Lake Taihu.Lake Taihu is Chinas third-largest freshwater lake. Boasting an area of 2,251 square kilometersUnderstanding the potential for nutrient inflows (869 square miles), its connected to numeroushas improved early warning capabilities and rivers and streams that support millions ofenabled more accurate water quality forecasts.people. The lakes hyper-eutrophic, shallow waters average just more than 2 meters (6 feet)The gaging stations are joined by a network of 70 in depth. They warm and mix easily, providingbuoys bearing advanced monitoring technology, an ideal setting for nutrients to feed explosiveincluding multiparameter sondes from YSI, a Xylem growths of algae, which often lead to low- brand. The integrated buoy systems capture data oxygen conditions and unpleasant odors. around the clock, spotting changes in blue-green algae levels, especially near drinking water intakes. Overwhelming algal blooms threatenedHaving collected data for years now, scientists aquatic life and cut off drinking water forcan spot trends and make quick decisions, even in millions of nearby residents in the early 2000s.the face of typhoons and other extreme weather This prompted local authorities to take actionpatterns that send massive amounts of nutrient-rich by forming the Taihu Basin Water Resourcerunoff into the lake.Monitoring Capacity Building Projectand collecting data.With complementary tools like videos of algae blooms, boat patrols, and measurements taken The extensive monitoring network started withfrom shore, water quality managers have become construction of gaging stations that allowedbetter able to manage the aquatic health of regulators to track inflows to Lake Taihus basin,Lake Taihu. This new era of monitoring and important for assessing levels of nutrients thatmanagement started with the selection of the right wash into the lake from surrounding farmlandinstrumentation and the right parameters on their and urban areas. monitoring platform.Whos Minding the Planet? 29'