Diffuse pollution poses a threat to water quality and results in the need for treatment for potable water supplies which can prove costly. Within the Yorkshire region, UK, nitrates, pesticides and water colour present particular treatment problems. Catchment management techniques offer an alternative to ‘end of pipe’ solutions and allow resources to be targeted to the most polluting areas. This project has attempted to identify such areas using GIS based modelling approaches in catchments where water quality data were available. As no model exists to predict water colour a model was created using an MCE method which is capable of predicting colour concentrations at the catchment scale. CatchIS was used to predict pesticide and nitrate N concentrations and was found to be generally capable of reliably predicting nitrate N loads at the catchment scale. The pesticides results did not match the historic data possibly due to problems with the historic pesticide data and temporal and spatially variability in pesticide usage. The use of these models can be extended to predict water quality problems in catchments where water quality data are unavailable and highlight areas of concern.
The use of GIS and multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) to identify agricultural land management practices which cause surface water pollution in drinking water supply catchments
Richard Grayson, Paul Kay, Miles Foulger; The use of GIS and multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) to identify agricultural land management practices which cause surface water pollution in drinking water supply catchments. Water Sci Technol 1 November 2008; 58 (9): 1797–1802. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2008.569
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