New & Useful Resources
Lakes, their watersheds, and the communities that benefit
from them face an array of challenges created mainly
by increasing human populations and changes in land
use. Most threats, such as nutrient pollution and deforestation
come from within the watershed. An increasing number
of threats also affect lakes from outside the watershed,
such as invasive species, climate change and atmospherically-deposited
toxic substances. Since threats to lake health come
from both within and outside the watershed, local, state,
national and international approaches may be necessary,
depending on the unique situation of each and every
This section of the website provides background information,
promising strategies and useful resources on specific
lake issues. We encourage you to share additional promising
strategies that have worked well in your watershed or
organization with the LakeNet Secretariat so that they
can be shared in turn with our global network.
New and Useful Resources
A New View of Adirondack Lakes
- A film about the sampling of water from 520 lakes in the Adirondack Park, filmed from an AirCam on floats in HD over three summers. The film explains the science behind the research and shows spectacular scenery from around the Park. Narrated by Dr Charles Canham and Ed McNeil. Video. Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. English.
Great Lakes Observing System
- The Great Lakes Observing System is a coordinated network of people, equipment and technology working together to provide data about the Great Lakes in a variety of formats and applications. IOSS.
Governance of shared waters : legal and institutional issues
- This book seeks to reposition the law as a tool for implementing higher good, or, in other words, for providing justice by seeking to ensure individuals have access to the services that ecosystems naturally provide, and guaranteeing the right to water for human well-being. The goal of the publication is to contribute to a better understanding of the legal and institutional arrangements necessary for promoting good governance of transboundary waters between two or more States. The ultimate aim of this book is to try and strengthen the capacity of various stakeholders, and to help reach the ideal that water should be considered as a vehicle for integration rather than as a source of conflict. Book. IUCN.
Freshwater Ecoregions of the World
- FEOW (Freshwater Ecoregions of the World) is the first-ever comprehensive map and database describing the world’s freshwater biodiversity. Covering all of the Earth’s 426 freshwater ecoregions, the FEOW map and associated species data are a powerful tool for freshwater conservation. A collaborative effort between WWF and The Nature Conservancy, the project brought together 200 leading freshwater scientists to create this extensive and easily searchable resource.
In its May 2008 issue, the scientific journal BioScience published an article that formally introduces FEOW to the conservation and scientific communities. The article, authored by 28 experts from around the world, culminates 10 years of work mapping patterns of global freshwater biodiversity.
Why is freshwater important?
Freshwater ecosystems occupy only 0.8 percent of the earth’s surface, but harbor nearly six percent of all known species. Yet, freshwater species and habitats are among the world's most endangered. In North America, the projected mean future extinction rate for freshwater animals is five times greater than that for terrestrial animals and three times the rate for coastal marine mammals -- rates within the range for tropical rainforest communities.
By 2025, two-thirds of the world's population could be facing serious water shortages.
Why is FEOW important for freshwater conservation?
So far, large-scale conservation planning efforts have rarely targeted freshwater biodiversity, partly because of insufficient data on the distributions of freshwater species worldwide.
FEOW begins to address these data gaps. Covering virtually all freshwater habitats on Earth, the ecoregion map and species data are a useful tool for:
- underpinning global and regional conservation planning efforts (particularly to identify outstanding and imperiled freshwater systems)
- serving as a framework for large-scale conservation strategies
- providing a global-scale knowledge base for increasing freshwater biogeographic literacy
Contact: Robin Abell, robin.ABELL@WWFUS.ORG
Report. WWF-US and TNC.
National Water Information System
- The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Water Information System (NWIS) is a comprehensive and distributed application that supports the acquisition, processing, and long-term storage of water data. NWISWeb serves as the publicly available portal to a geographically seamless set of much of the water data maintained within NWIS (additional background). Website. USGS.
Survey of the Nation's Lakes
- EPA is working with states, tribes and others to survey the quality of the nation's lakes, ponds and reservoirs. Project description. US EPA.
- CYANONET is a UNESCO-supported initiative to create an internet-based global source of information and contacts for cyanobacteria (=blue-green algae) and their toxins (cyanotoxins). As you may know the development of cyanobacteria in water resources is a consequence of eutrophication and poses a significant risk to human, animal and environmental health. Globally the base of cyanobacterial specialization is sparse - accordingly CYANONET has identified the need for mutually-beneficial global collaboration in order to promote skills awareness and understanding, and to facilitate the exchange of information and technologies. Website. UNESCO.
GEMStat - Global Water Quality Data and Statistics
- The United Nations Global Environment Monitoring System (GEMS) Water Programme is dedicated to providing environmental water quality data and information of the highest integrity, accessibility and interoperability. These data are used in water assessments and capacity building initiatives around the world.
GEMStat is designed to share surface and ground water quality data sets collected from the GEMS/Water Global Network, including over 1,400 stations, two million records, and over 100 parameters. Database. UNEP Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS Water).
What You Can Do
- The What You Can Do web site is a place to find information and tips to help you take action for a cleaner and healthier environment. Website. Environment Canada. English, French.
Large-Scale Ecosystem Restoration: Lessons for Existing and Emerging Initiatives
- Case studies. Northeast Midwest Institute.
UNESCO Water Portal
- The UNESCO Water Portal is intended to enhance access to information related to freshwater available on the World Wide Web. The site provides links to the current UNESCO and UNESCO-led programmes on freshwater and will serve as an interactive point for sharing, browsing and searching websites of water-related organizations, government bodies and NGOs, including a range of categories such as water links, water events, learning modules and other on-line resources. Website.
Catalyzing Change: A handbook for developing integrated water resources management (IWRM) and water efficiency strategies
- Handbook/Manual. Global Water Partnership.
Global Lakes and Wetlands Database
- The global lakes and wetlands database GLWD has been developed in partnership with the Center for Environmental Systems Research, University of Kassel, Germany. It is available for download as three separate ArcView layers (two polygon shapefiles and one grid). The files have been compressed using WinZip (www.winzip.com) and are 46 MB in total size. Database. WWF US.
Global Invasive Species Database
- Database. IUCN.
Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries
- Guidelines for the conservation and management of the world's fisheries as adopted by more than 170 members of the FAO in 1995. Guidelines. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Crop Explorer - Global Reservoir and Lake Elevation Monitoring
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS), in co-operation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the University of Maryland, are routinely monitoring lake and reservoir height variations for approximately 100 lakes located around the world. Website. USDA.
Guidelines on monitoring and assessment of transboundary and international lakes, Part B: Technical Guidelines (2003)
- Report. UNECE Working Group on Monitoring & Assessment. English.
The essentials of environmental flows
- IUCN demonstrates the application of environmental flows to support the health of aquatic ecosystems and the well-being of people who depend on them. Where dams and abstraction regulate flows, environmental flow regimes integrate the needs of people and nature according to the priorities negotiated by stakeholders. Report. IUCN. English.
The Water Cycle
- The water-cycle diagram (150 kilobytes) is now available in more than 30 languages. Text summaries are also available for some languages (with more on the way!). Diagram. USGS. Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese.
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