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Characterization of the Water Quality Status on a Stretch of River Lérez around a Small Hydroelectric Power Station
Research Group AF4, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Engineering, School of Forestry Engineering, University of Vigo, Campus A Xunqueira s/n., Pontevedra 36005, Spain
Received: 16 August 2012; in revised form: 13 September 2012 / Accepted: 13 September 2012 / Published: 15 October 2012
Abstract: The renewable energy emerged as a solution to the environmental problems caused by the conventional sources of energy. Small hydropower (SHP) is claimed to cause negligible effects on the ecosystem, although some environmental values are threatened and maintenance of an adequate water quality should be ensured. This work provides a characterization of the water quality status in a river stretch around a SHP plant on river Lérez, northwest Spain, for four years after its construction. The ecological and chemical status of the water as well as the ecological quality of the riparian habitat, were used as measures of quality. Data were compared with the water quality requirements. The variations in the quality parameters were analyzed over time and over the river sections with respect to the SHP plant elements. Two years after construction, the temperature and dissolved oxygen values achieved conditions for salmonid water and close to the reference condition, while pH values were low. The Iberian Biological Monitoring Working Party (IBMWP) index showed a positive trend from two years after the construction and stabilized at “unpolluted or not considerably altered water”. Quality parameters did not present significant differences between sampling points. The SHP plant construction momentarily altered the quality characteristics of the water.
Keywords: biological index; IBMWP; riparian forest quality index (QBR); macrobenthos; physicochemical; SHP plant
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MDPI and ACS Style
Valero, E. Characterization of the Water Quality Status on a Stretch of River Lérez around a Small Hydroelectric Power Station. Water 2012, 4, 815-834.
Valero E. Characterization of the Water Quality Status on a Stretch of River Lérez around a Small Hydroelectric Power Station. Water. 2012; 4(4):815-834.
Valero, Enrique. 2012. "Characterization of the Water Quality Status on a Stretch of River Lérez around a Small Hydroelectric Power Station." Water 4, no. 4: 815-834.