Land-Use Change and Surface Water Quality in the Cataraqui Region
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The scientific community has increased its focus on studies dealing with land-use change and water quality. The emphasis on land use and water quality can be attributed to the continued rise in human population leading to an overall degradation of water quality and serious modifications in land use characteristics. The current study is focused on regional-level linkages between land use and surface water quality which in turn affect interrelationships at a larger scale. The main objective of the present research is to discover the interrelationship between the change in land use and its impact on surface water quality in the Cataraqui Region. The feasibility of adopting Adaptive Environmental Management [AEM] techniques as a sustainable resource management process within the region is also discussed. A total of four watersheds with seven Provincial Water Quality Monitoring [PWQMN] stations under Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority [CRCA] jurisdiction are analysed. Eight parameters including water alkalinity, water hardness, phosphorus, iron, aluminum, vanadium, manganese and chloride are examined under PWQMN guidelines for each station as indicators of surface water quality over a time period of twenty years from 1993-2012. Land use maps are prepared using Landsat imagery at five-year intervals for areas drained by each creek. Final analysis shows a minor causal relationship between land-use change and surface water quality within the four selected creeks. An increasing trend for metallic and persistently high concentration of non-metallic parameters indicates the need for better and improved AEM procedures to ensure sustainable utilization of water resources in the future.