A respect for local knowledge combined with a drive to change people’s perceptions.
Tom Ryan is holding nothing back as council’s Lake Wyangan and Catchment Management project officer in combating Lake Wyangan’s water woes.
Working closely with Murrumbidgee Irrigation, Roads and Maritime Services, Griffith Boat Club and members of the wider community he aims to build bridges and “get everyone on the same page.”
Mr Ryan has been appointed on a three year contract to implement plans to enhance the Lake, including control of Blue-green algae.
“I absolutely think we can implement a long term solution in three years,” Mr Ryan said.
“I would love to be able to change people’s perceptions on solutions – we need to stop with the Band-Aid solutions and focus on the long-term.”
Mr Ryan has ideas on these long-term plans which involve having a water flow in and out of the lake.
I absolutely think we can implement a long term solution in three years.Project Officer Tom Ryan
Studying Environmental Science at Wollongong University, and with over 25 years experience working in aquatic research and management, tackling Lake Wyangan will be a welcome “challenge”.
And a challenge it has already proven to be, with community concerns raised at the end of 2018 when councillors voted to sell 1200 megalitres and have 300 megalitres flow into the lake, with a gross income of $530,000.
Mr Ryan says this money is already being put “to good use” with water monitoring equipment purchased, and plans to petition for government grants in the future to continue works.
“In the next week or so we will see the installation of two water quality meters, which will be on floating buoys at both ends of the North Lake,” Mr Ryan said.
These telemetered water quality loggers will combine with the ongoing algae and water quality sampling being conducted as part of a three month plan.
Water quality and algae management techniques are also being trialed, including aeration and small water releases.
Maintenance work has already begun with the marking of low water levels with help from the RMS. Other tasks to come will include boat access, bank stabilisation, weed harvesting and boat safety improvements.
“It’s onwards and upwards from here on out,” Mr Ryan said.
While you're with us, did you know that you can now receive updates straight to your inbox every Monday at 6am from The Area News? To make sure you're up to date with all the Griffith and MIA news you can sign up here.