Modelling the impacts of catchment mitigation measures on water quality

Taylor, Sam (2017) Modelling the impacts of catchment mitigation measures on water quality. Masters thesis, University of East Anglia.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (24MB) | Preview

Abstract

Diffuse nutrient and pesticide pollution is a major global and growing pressure on water quality and poses risks to aquatic ecosystems, human health and water resources. Due to threats to water quality, the costs of water treatment and the recalcitrance of some pollutants to traditional water treatment techniques, there is increased focus on the potential to mitigate agricultural diffuse water pollution through catchment management. Water quality models have the potential to be applied as decision support tools to identify mitigation measures that can reduce agricultural diffuse water pollution but, to date, insufficient consideration has been given to the uncertainties of water quality model predictions and the impacts of farm-based mitigation measures on multiple pollutants and at a daily temporal resolution. To address these shortcomings, and the need to identify mitigation measures that can reduce agricultural diffuse water pollution, the soil and water assessment tool model was applied to identify the impacts of farm-based mitigation measures on diffuse nitrate, total phosphorus and metaldehyde pollution at a daily time-step within the River Wensum catchment in the East of England. Prohibiting metaldehyde application in areas where the slope exceeded 2% was the most effective option to mitigate diffuse metaldehyde pollution, whilst introducing a red clover cover crop reduced nitrate losses by 19.6% and implementing buffer strips of 6 m width reduced total phosphorus losses by 16.9%. Results also highlighted the need to consider the impacts on multiple pollutants and the degree of uncertainty associated with model predictions when evaluating the effectiveness of mitigation measures. According to model predictions, a catchment management based approach does have the potential to reduce agricultural diffuse water pollution, the risk of water quality non compliance and the subsequent need for raw water treatment. Overall, this thesis contributes to the development of effective strategies to mitigate agricultural diffuse water pollution.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Gillian Aldus
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2017 15:11
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2017 15:11
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/65313
DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item