River Cavado water quality variability was studied for eutrophication vulnerability assessment at a new surface water supply intake. Since the river flow regime is artificially controlled by upstream multipurpose reservoirs, mathematical modelling was applied in evaluating alternative management scenarios. Due to the fact that surface water quality at intake location is mainly affected by a wastewater treatment plant effluent discharge 5 km upstream, algae and nutrients concentration simulations have been worked out in order to identify critical situations. Different algal concentration profiles along the river were obtained for local conditions of light energy, water temperature and estimated nutrient loads, showing high probability of eutrophication occurrence for some of the simulated scenarios. The discussion of results of this study appears to be very useful for river basin wide water management policies evaluation.

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