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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 20, issue 6
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2395–2401, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-2395-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2395–2401, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-2395-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Comment/reply 20 Jun 2016

Comment/reply | 20 Jun 2016

Comment on "Using groundwater age and hydrochemistry to understand sources and dynamics of nutrient contamination through the catchment into Lake Rotorua, New Zealand" by Morgenstern et al. (2015)

Jonathan M. Abell1, David P. Hamilton2, and Christopher G. McBride2 Jonathan M. Abell et al.
  • 1Ecofish Research Ltd., 1220-1175 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
  • 2Environmental Research Institute, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand

Abstract. This comment addresses a key conclusion in the paper entitled "Using groundwater age and hydrochemistry to understand sources and dynamics of nutrient contamination through the catchment into Lake Rotorua, New Zealand" by Morgenstern et al. (2015). The authors analyse hydrochemistry data and conclude that "the only effective way to limit algae blooms and improve lake water quality in such environments is by limiting the nitrate load". We undertook the crucial task of examining this conclusion because it contradicts the current strategy of limiting both phosphorus and nitrogen loads to the lake, supported by a multi-million dollar programme of action. Following careful consideration, we believe that the conclusion is invalid and outline four reasons to support our assessment. Our comments do not relate to the methodology or results that are presented by Morgenstern et al. (2015), and we recognise that their paper makes an otherwise highly valuable contribution to understanding hydro-chemical processes in the catchment.

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We comment on "Using groundwater age and hydrochemistry to understand sources and dynamics of nutrient contamination through the catchment into Lake Rotorua, New Zealand" by Morgenstern et al. (2015). They propose that "the only effective way to limit algae blooms and improve lake water quality in such environments is by limiting the nitrate load". We outline four reasons why it is important to instead limit both phosphorus and nitrogen loads to this iconic lake, consistent with current policy.
We comment on "Using groundwater age and hydrochemistry to understand sources and dynamics of...
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