Drought is a prolonged dry period caused by less than normal rainfall or snowfall for an extended period of time. Drought can lead to water shortages, meaning there is less water available for drinking, food production and swimming. It can also lead to other impacts such as poor water quality and more wildfires. Drought can affect our physical and mental health as well as the local economy. Drought conditions sometimes take years to develop and can last as short as one season or as long as many decades.
cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)
How are we doing at promoting policies that ensure Vermonters can grow up, live and work in a healthy environment?
When a basemap or an atlas isn’t enough, the Health Department uses GIS web “apps” that address important public health issues using GIS technology. For example, with apps it becomes possible to:
Not all Vermont bays, lakes, and ponds are monitored. Be aware of changing conditions, and keep out of the water if you think cyanobacteria may be present. Check recent reports on lake conditions and season summaries. To find out if a beach or swim area is open, call the beach manager.
Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are common in Lake Champlain and other Vermont waters. Some types of cyanobacteria can release natural toxins or poisons (called cyanotoxins) into the water.
The Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae) Tracker allows the public to check recent cyanobacteria bloom reports at shoreline sites and recreational swimming areas of Lake Champlain and various inland lakes in Vermont.
Responding to climate change will benefit health now.
As temperatures in Lake Champlain and other fresh water bodies continue to warm due to climate change, and with more heavy precipitation, conditions will become more favorable for blooms to occur.
Changes in the climate can affect human health, including: effects from extreme heat, extreme weather events, tickborne and-mosquito-borne diseases, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms, and air quality.