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

  • Author / Creator
    Howery, Jocelyn
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2010-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R39995
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Renewable Resources
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Silins, Uldis (Renewable Resources)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Stone, Mike (Geography and Environmental Management)
    • Adamowicz, W.L (Rural Economy)
    • Boxall, Peter (Rural Economy)