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Water 2017, 9(3), 199; doi:10.3390/w9030199

Impacts of Climate Change on the Water Quality of a Regulated Prairie River

1
Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, SK S7N 3H5, Canada
2
Graduate Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5C5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard Skeffington
Received: 29 November 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract

Flows along the upper Qu’Appelle River are expected to increase in the future via increased discharge from Lake Diefenbaker to meet the demands of increased agricultural and industrial activity and population growth in southern Saskatchewan. This increased discharge and increased air temperature due to climate change are both expected to have an impact on the water quality of the river. The Water Quality Analysis Simulation Program (WASP7) was used to model current and future water quality of the upper Qu’Appelle River. The model was calibrated and validated to characterize the current state of the water quality of the river. The model was then used to predict water quality [nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) concentrations and oxygen dynamics] for the years 2050–2055 and 2080–2085. The modelling results indicate that global warming will result in a decrease in ice thickness, a shorter ice cover period, and decreased nutrient concentrations in 2050 or 2080 relative to 2010, with a greater decrease of nutrient concentrations in open water. In contrast to the effect of warmer water temperatures, increased flow through water management may cause increases in ammonium, nitrate, and dissolved oxygen concentrations and decreases in orthophosphate concentrations in summer. View Full-Text
Keywords: water quality model; climate change; WASP7; surface water; upper Qu’Appelle River; increased discharge water quality model; climate change; WASP7; surface water; upper Qu’Appelle River; increased discharge
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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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Hosseini, N.; Johnston, J.; Lindenschmidt, K.-E. Impacts of Climate Change on the Water Quality of a Regulated Prairie River. Water 2017, 9, 199.

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