• Great Barrier Reef 'damaged by farming chemicals'

Environmental Laboratory

Great Barrier Reef 'damaged by farming chemicals'

Jan 23 2009

An international organisation has called for stricter measures on the use of farm chemicals after large volumes of pollutants spilled into the reef last week.

Heavy rain saw the spillage of around one million megalitres of farm-related pollution enter the reef, enough to fill Sydney Harbour, stated World Wildlife Federation spokesman Nick Heath.

The organisation used satellite images to establish the details and concluded that the chemicals had affected the reefs and encouraged the growth of algae.

Mr Heath said that it is "astounding" that people are allowing this to happen to the much-loved reef.

"If we are to give our iconic reef the best chance of withstanding climate change, we must ensure its water quality is as clean as possible," he stated.

In similar developments, a report out this week from the Pacific Institute of California stated that the world is reaching the peak of its natural sustainable water supplies, with a risk of shortages and higher prices for the utility in the future.

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