We are proud that our aquatic monitoring equipment and technology will be used in a joint monitoring project between the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (Rijkswaterstaat) and the Chinese Taihu Basin Authority (TBA). For several years the CytoSense flow cytometer in combination with the EasyClus software by Thomas Rutten Projects (TR Projects) have been providing valuable insight into water quality of the river Meuse at the Eijsden monitoring station managed by the Laboratory for Hydrobiological Analysis at Rijkswaterstaat (www.fytoplankton.nl). Now a similar operational unit will be installed in the Lake Taihu water quality monitoring field station managed by the TBA. One of the major goals will be setting up the automated assessment of the population dynamics of Microcystis aeruginosa, a toxic cyanobacteria species that forms harmful blooms in the lake. The CytoSense poses an excellent means for monitoring these organisms as it is designed to analyze a wide range of cell and colony sizes without damaging the sometimes fragile phytoplankton structures. As a result, our technology provides a linear assessment of biomass throughout the whole size spectrum. The TR Projects software enables moreover fast classification and quantification of the data.
The international joint project successfully kicked-off with a training course which was organized for the TBA experts and hosted by UNESCO-IHE in Delft, the Laboratory for Hydrobiological Analysis at Rijkswaterstaat in Lelystad and CytoBuoy together with TR Projects.