Dr. David Lobb has a just-the-facts-jack way of speaking. Forthright, convincing and understandable despite the complexity of the topic. So what does a soil scientist from the University of Manitoba have to say about the state of a lake? Quite a lot, it seems.

Many researchers focus on phosphorus in the waters of Lake Winnipeg as a growth accelerant for the algae, including the toxic blue-green variety. The quest for them — and others — is to discover where that P is coming from and then design strategies for how to reduce it.

Lobb sources it to agricultural watersheds, but not necessarily just from fertilized and manured cropland. He points a finger at the vegetation and challenges a conventional understanding that the phosphorus in waterways is in a particulate form and associated with sediment from eroded soil. He says that’s not the case on the prairies.

After this office interview with Lobb last year he took me out on the land to see the issues he studies first-hand. Sadly the audio recorded in the field did not turn out well so this is what we have.

This is the sixth full interview I am posting as this co-creation continues. Why am I publishing this? I figure that if others listen to what Lobb has to say it will help identify key insights needed to build this story about Lake Winnipeg. Let me know what stands out for you.

Don’t miss the earlier interviews with Vicki Burns, Bill Barlow, Les McEwan, Hank Venema and Gordon Goldsborough.


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