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Regional assessment of the effects of land use on water quality: A case study in the Oldman River Basin, Alberta Open Access


Other title
Water Quality
Land use
Cumulative Effects
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Howery, Jocelyn
Supervisor and department
Silins, Uldis (Renewable Resources)
Examining committee member and department
Stone, Mike (Geography and Environmental Management)
Adamowicz, W.L (Rural Economy)
Boxall, Peter (Rural Economy)
Department of Renewable Resources

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Protecting and managing Canadian water resources in the face of growing cumulative effects and non-point source pollution from development (industrial, agricultural, and urban), depends on defensible, scientifically founded, watershed assessments. The objectives of this research were to broadly characterize the spatial and temporal patterns in water quality (total phosphorus and total nitrogen concentration, export and yield) across a land use disturbance gradient (forest, agriculture, urban) to elucidate pressures on water quality from specific landscape regions within the three headwater sub-basins of the Oldman River basin. While the water quality in the Oldman basin, remains fairly pristine, important spatial differences in nutrient production were evident between the upstream (predominantly forested) and the downstream (mixed agricultural/forested) reaches within the sub-basins. Using the pressure state response model as a framework to link landscapes to observed water quality, it was also found that phosphorus contamination may be an issue in the headwaters.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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