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Forests 2016, 7(2), 29; doi:10.3390/f7020029

Impacts of Forest to Urban Land Conversion and ENSO Phase on Water Quality of a Public Water Supply Reservoir

1
U.S. Department of Agriculture—Agricultural Research Service, Wooton Hall, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, 88003, USA
2
TetraTech, Inc., 2110 Powers Ferry Rd., Atlanta, GA 30326, USA
3
Auburn University, 206 Tom Corley Bldg., Auburn, AL 36832, USA
4
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, 88003 USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: James M. Vose and Ge Sun
Received: 15 November 2015 / Revised: 15 January 2016 / Accepted: 18 January 2016 / Published: 27 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Management and Water Resources in the Anthropocene)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1282 KB, uploaded 27 January 2016]   |  

Abstract

We used coupled watershed and reservoir models to evaluate the impacts of deforestation and l Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase on drinking water quality. Source water total organic carbon (TOC) is especially important due to the potential for production of carcinogenic disinfection byproducts (DBPs). The Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC) reservoir model is used to evaluate the difference between daily pre- and post- urbanization nutrients and TOC concentration. Post-disturbance (future) reservoir total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), TOC and chlorophyll-a concentrations were found to be higher than pre-urbanization (base) concentrations (p < 0.05). Predicted future median TOC concentration was 1.1 mg·L−1 (41% higher than base TOC concentration) at the source water intake. Simulations show that prior to urbanization, additional water treatment was necessary on 47% of the days between May and October. However, following simulated urbanization, additional drinking water treatment might be continuously necessary between May and October. One of six ENSO indices is weakly negatively correlated with the measured reservoir TOC indicating there may be higher TOC concentrations in times of lower streamflow (La Niña). There is a positive significant correlation between simulated TN and TP concentrations with ENSO suggesting higher concentrations during El Niño. View Full-Text
Keywords: reservoir model; urbanization; deforestation; drinking water treatment; total organic carbon; disinfection byproducts; ENSO reservoir model; urbanization; deforestation; drinking water treatment; total organic carbon; disinfection byproducts; ENSO
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Elias, E.; Rodriguez, H.; Srivastava, P.; Dougherty, M.; James, D.; Smith, R. Impacts of Forest to Urban Land Conversion and ENSO Phase on Water Quality of a Public Water Supply Reservoir. Forests 2016, 7, 29.

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