Title: Relationships between reservoir water quality and catchment habitat type

Authors: Rachel Gough; Yvonne Cohen; Nathalie Fenner; Jonathan Cannon; Christopher Freeman

Addresses: School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK ' School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK ' School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK ' D?r Cymru Welsh Water Head Office, Pentwyn Road, Nelson, Treharris, Mid Glamorgan, CF46 6LY, UK ' School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK

Abstract: Numerous catchment characteristics including topography, geology, soil and vegetation are reported to exert a strong influence on mean surface water properties. The present study employs a geographical information system (GIS) approach to examine, for the first time, the relationship between reservoir water quality [dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration, colour, nitrate concentration and pH] and catchment Phase 1 Habitat coverage. Analysis was conducted on two occasions and at two different spatial scales. Numerous statistically significant correlations were identified, suggesting the use of Phase 1 Habitat data could help improve predictive models of surface water quality. The occurrence and strength of correlations varied seasonally in response, we argue, to temporal variations in hydrological regime and anthropogenic activity. The data also suggest that the proximity of habitat types to the reservoir is significant in affecting reservoir water quality. The findings are used to recommend suitable measures for drinking water companies to mitigate against water quality issues.

Keywords: dissolved organic carbon; DOC concentration; colour; nitrate concentration; pH; drinking water; reservoir water quality; catchment habitat types; soil; geographical information systems; GIS; Phase 1 Habitat; temporal variations; hydrology; anthropogenic activity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJETM.2016.074799

International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, 2016 Vol.19 No.1, pp.16 - 39

Received: 14 Aug 2014
Accepted: 03 Sep 2015

Published online: 18 Feb 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article