Land Use and Water Quality: The impacts of diffuse pollution


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Publication Date: 15/05/2022

Pages: 280

Binding: Paperback

ISBN13: 9781789061116

eISBN: 9781789061123

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The influence of landscapes – topography, soil, vegetation, geology - on water quality is an inherent part of the global water cycle. Land use has adverse impacts for example when soils are exposed, significant quantities of pollutants are released (including anthropogenic materials added to those naturally present), or pollutants are added directly to the water environment. 

Those impacts range from industrial development to farming and urbanisation. Whilst inefficient polluting industrial effluents are still tolerated in some countries, and poorly treated sewage globally remains a huge challenge for sanitation and public health, as well as the water environment, diffuse pollution is relatively poorly recognised or understood. The operator of a sewage or trade effluent treatment plant is consciously discharging effluent to the local river. But a farmer is simply growing crops or farming livestock, a city commuter driving to work is unlikely to be thinking how brake pad wear has released copper to the water (and air) environment and hydrocarbons and particulates too; no one is intending to cause pollution of the water environment. The same applies to industrial chemists creating fire-proofing chemicals, solvents, fertilisers, pesticides, cosmetics and many more substances which contaminate the environment. Understanding and ultimately minimising diffuse pollution is in that sense the science of unintended consequences. And the consequences can be severe, for water resources and ecosystems. It’s a global problem.

This book comprises 18 papers from experts around the globe, presenting evidence from tropical as well as temperate regions, and rural as well as urban land use challenges. The book explores the nature of diffuse pollution and exemplifies the issues at various scales, from high-level national overviews to particular catchment and pollutant issues.

By contrast, natural or semi-natural forest cover has long been recognised as safeguarding water quality in reservoirs (examples from Australia to Thailand and UK). The final chapter looks at how landscapes generally, can be designed to minimise pollution risks from particular land-uses, arguing for a more widespread catchment approach to water-aware landscape design, allied with flood risk resilience, place-making for people, and biodiversity opportunities too.   



Chapter 1: Land use and diffuse pollution: are perceptions part of the problem?

Chapter 2: Pesticide, diffuse pollution and food safety

Chapter 3: Long term studies in Lake Pátzcuaro, eutrophication and recovery efforts during one decade

Chapter 4: Impacts of oil spill incidences on levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in coastal areas of Asian Countries

Chapter 5: Microbiological impact of diffuse pollution sources on water quality

Chapter 6: Emerging pollutants from various land use types and their impacts on water resources

Chapter 7: Marine debris: the Australian perspective

Chapter 8: Diffuse water pollution in the United States: trends, regulations and outlooks

Chapter 9: Rural diffuse pollution in Scotland: impacts and management

Chapter 10: Implications of land use and land-use changes to water quality in Korea: status, management and policy development

Chapter 11: Protected areas and the diffuse pollution problem: rivers of the Kruger National Park, South Africa

Chapter 12: Determination of changes in neonicotinoid pesticide concentrations and assessment of the risk posed to aquatic organisms in rivers based on high-frequency sampling

Chapter 13: Addressing adverse water quality in Strathclyde Loch, Scotland

Chapter 14: Socio-economic impacts of pollution and restoration: Loch Leven case study, UK

Chapter 15: Diffuse pollution and contamination of pesticides in natural water and water supply: case study of Northern Thailand

Chapter 16: Recognition of diffuse pollution impacts on water utilities

Chapter 17: Diffuse pollution and drinking water quality – cost–benefit of reducing the source to improve the environment

Chapter 18: Landscapes for pollution risk management


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