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Critical analysis of environmental water quality in South Africa: historic and current trends
Expanded Title:This report presents a review of changes in water quality management structures, programmes and approaches over the past two decades in two river systems - the Crocodile River in Mpumalanga, (which is moderately impacted), and the Olifants River, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, (which is severely impacted). Following a comparative illustration of changes in water quality, over time, using 11 water quality parameters, areas which need updating, completion or revision are identified. This report presents: • A review and critique of the development of policy, management practice and methodologies, associated with environmental water quality, within water resource protection; • An assessment of the long term water quality trends in two catchments, selected as examples of systems that are moderately (the Crocodile River, Mpumalanga), and seriously (Oiifants River, Mpumalanga/Limpopo) impacted by deteriorating water quality • Recommendations for research that will support implementation of legal, policy and strategy requirements for environmental water quality, within water resource protection and Sites that were impacted at the start of the data record generally continue to show that impact over time (though there are some improvements). Changes in water quality are driven by increased orthophosphate levels and increased pH levels, as well as increased salinity, and for some sites in the Olifants River catchment, increased sulphate and calcium levels. Microbial levels were unacceptably high, but trends were not apparent.
Date Published:01/04/2014
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Ecosystem - Biodiversity protection
Document Keywords:Water Quality
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:2184/1/14
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0536-3
Authors:Griffin NJ; Palmer CG; Scherman P-A
Project No:K5/2184
Organizations:Rhodes University; Scherman Colloty & Associates (SC&A), Grahamstown, South Africa
Document Size:4 760 KB
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