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Catchment Water Resources

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Abstract

This chapter provides an introduction to the ecosystem services and assessment methods associated with catchment water resources. It considers the main pressures on such resources and the different techniques that can be used to monitor and evaluate the state of water quality and quantity in a catchment. Issues associated with the design of monitoring programmes and tools for modelling water resources are also reviewed.

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... Furthermore, very often actual water allocation neglects international standards of biodiversity protection as well as resulting consequences such as hydrological buffer zones around water sensitive ecosystems. A reason may be the lack of integrative environmental and spatial planning (Rijsberman and Molden 2001;Cooper and Hiscock 2019) which might be solved by the application of sustainability assessments. Their added value is given when their indicators account for intra-annual variations of water supply and demand on basis of monthly time steps (Vanham et al. 2018) and the assessment is spatially specific (Albert et al. 2016;Grizzetti et al. 2016). ...
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Faecal-indicator budget studies have shown marine bathing water quality at two small UK coastal resorts, Staithes and Newport, to be adversely affected by riverine inputs from lowland pastoral catchments (J. Chartered Inst. Water Environ. Mangt. 12 (1998) 414). The present paper reports on presumptive coliform (PC), presumptive Escherichia coli (PE) and presumptive streptococci (PS) concentrations at 43 sampling points on watercourses within these catchments, and on their relationship with land use and livestock-related management practices, such as grazing and slurry/manure applications. The results show > 10-fold elevations in geometric mean faecal-indicator concentrations under high-flow conditions, compared with low flow, with maximum high-flow geometric mean PC, PE and PS concentrations of 2.6 x 10(6), 1.8 x 10(6) and 4.4 x 10(5) cfu/100 ml, respectively. High-flow geometric mean concentrations exhibit highly significant positive correlations with land use/management variables associated with intensive livestock farming, both within the individual catchments and in the two combined. Additional factors, such as antecedent weather conditions and topography, contribute to inter-catchment variability in water quality. Although inputs from diffuse and point sources of pollution were not quantified, point sources (e.g. runoff from farm yards) seem likely to be significant. The findings suggest that it may be possible to develop generic statistical models to predict microbial water quality from land use and farm management data. They also provide indirect evidence that channel bed sediment 'stores' closely reflect land use within their catchments and that there is little die-off of organisms along watercourses.
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Eutrophication has many known consequences, but there are few data on the environmental and health costs. We developed a new framework of cost categories that assess both social and ecological damage costs and policy response costs. These findings indicate the severe effects of nutrient enrichment and eutrophication on many sectors of the economy. We estimate the damage costs of freshwater eutrophication in England and Wales to be $105-160 million yr(-1) (pound 75.0-114.3 m). The policy response costs are a measure of how much is being spent to address this damage, and these amount to $77 million yr(-1) pound 54.8 m). The damage costs are dominated by seven items each with costs of $15 million yr(-1) or more: reduced value of waterfront dwellings, drinking water treatment costs for nitrogen removal, reduced recreational and amenity value of water bodies, drinking water treatment costs for removal of algal toxins and decomposition products, reduced value of nonpolluted atmosphere, negative ecological effects on biota, and net economic losses from the tourist industry. In common with other environmental problems, it would represent net value (or cost reduction) if damage was prevented at source. A variety of effective economic, regulatory, and administrative policy instruments are available for internalizing these costs.
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In the mid-1800s, the agricultural chemist Justus von Liebig demonstrated strong positive relationships between soil nutrient supplies and the growth yields of terrestrial plants, and it has since been found that freshwater and marine plants are equally responsive to nutrient inputs. Anthropogenic inputs of nutrients to the Earth's surface and atmosphere have increased greatly during the past two centuries. This nutrient enrichment, or eutrophication, can lead to highly undesirable changes in ecosystem structure and function, however. In this paper we briefly review the process, the impacts, and the potential management of cultural eutrophication in freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. We present two brief case studies (one freshwater and one marine) demonstrating that nutrient loading restriction is the essential cornerstone of aquatic eutrophication control. In addition, we present results of a preliminary statistical analysis that is consistent with the hypothesis that anthropogenic emissions of oxidized nitrogen could be influencing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide via nitrogen stimulation of global primary production.
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Sustainable catchment management requires increased levels of integration between groups of natural and social scientists, land and water users, land and water managers, planners and policy makers across spatial scales. Multiple policy drivers, covering urban and rural communities and their relationships with land and water use, have resulted in the need for an integrated decision making framework that operates from the strategic national scale to the local catchment scale. Large gaps in integration between policies are resulting in uncertain outcomes of conflicting and competing policy measures. The need for further integration is illustrated by little or no reductions in nitrate and phosphate levels in surface and ground waters in England and Wales. There is a requirement for natural scientists to consider the socio-economic setting and implications of their research. Moreover, catchment system level science requires natural and social scientists to work more closely, to provide robust analysis of the state of the environment that fully considers the bio-physical, social, political and economic settings. The combined use of spatial technologies, scenarios, indicators and multicriteria analysis are increasingly being used to enable improved integration for sustainable catchment management.
Article
Over the last 50 years the effects of suspended solids (SS) on fish and aquatic life have been studied intensively throughout the world. It is now accepted that SS are an extremely important cause of water quality deterioration leading to aesthetic issues, higher costs of water treatment, a decline in the fisheries resource, and serious ecological degradation of aquatic environments. As such, government-led environmental bodies have set recommended water quality guidelines for concentrations of SS in freshwater systems. However, these reference values are often spurious or based on the concept of turbidity as a surrogate measure of the concentration of SS. The appropriateness of these recommended water quality values is evaluated given: (1) the large variability and uncertainty in data available from research describing the effects of SS on aquatic environments, (2) the diversity of environments that these values are expected to relate to, and (3) the range of conditions experienced within these environments. Furthermore, we suggest that reliance solely upon turbidity data as a surrogate for SS must be treated with caution, as turbidity readings respond to factors other than just concentrations of SS, as well as being influenced by the particle-size distribution and shape of SS particles. In addition, turbidity is a measure of only one of the many detrimental effects, reviewed in this paper, which high levels of SS can have in waterbodies. In order to improve the understanding of the effects of SS on aquatic organisms, this review suggests that: First, high-resolution turbidity monitoring should be supplemented with direct, measurements of SS (albeit at lower resolution due to resource issues). This would allow the turbidity record to be checked and calibrated against SS, effectively building a rating-relationship between SS and turbidity, which would in-turn provide a clearer picture of the exact magnitude of the SS problem. Second, SS should also be characterised in terms of their particle-size distribution and chemical composition. This would provide information to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the observed variable effects of a given concentration of SS in aquatic habitats. These two suggested improvements, combined with lower-resolution concurrent measures of aquatic ecological status, would improve our understanding of the effects of SS in aquatic environments and together with a more detailed classification of aquatic environments, would provide an environment-specific evidence base for the establishment of effective water quality guidelines for SS.
Chapter 20: Inland water systems
  • C M Finlayson
  • R Cruz
Risk-based modelling of diffuse land use impacts from rural landscapes upon salmonid fry abundance
  • S M Reaney
  • S N Lane
  • A L Heathwaite
Neonicotinoid pesticide reduces bumble bee colony growth and queen production
  • P R Whitehorn
  • S Connor
  • F L Wackers
High-temporal resolution fluvial sediment source fingerprinting with uncertainty: A Bayesian approach
  • R J Cooper
  • T Krueger
  • K M Hiscock
  • RJ Cooper
An analysis of long-term trends, seasonality and short-term dynamics in water quality data from Plynlimon, Wales. The Science of the Total Environment
  • S J Halliday
  • A J Wade
  • R A Skeffington
  • SJ Halliday
EU contract FISH/2004/011 on “sport fisheries” (or marine recreational fisheries) in the EU
  • M G Pawson
  • D Tingley
  • G Padda
  • MG Pawson
Invasive alien species: A European Union response (European Commission report)
  • K Sundseth
Ecosystems and human well-being: Current state and trends (Millennium ecosystem assessment
  • C M Finlayson
  • R Cruz
  • CM Finlayson
A modular three-dimensional finite-difference ground-water flow model (Techniques of water-resources investigations of the United States Geological Survey
  • M G Mcdonald
  • A W Harbaugh
  • MG McDonald