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Open AccessArticle

Water Quality of the Mun River in Thailand—Spatiotemporal Variations and Potential Causes

1
College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
2
Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
3
Environmental Engineering and Disaster Management Program, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Mahidol University Kanchanaburi Campus, Kanchanaburi 71150, Thailand
4
Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahasarakham University, Kantarawichai District, Maha Sarakham 44150, Thailand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3906; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203906
Received: 14 September 2019 / Revised: 12 October 2019 / Accepted: 12 October 2019 / Published: 15 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Environmental Risk Assessment)
The water quality of the Mun River, one of the largest tributaries of the Mekong River and an important agricultural area in Thailand, is investigated to determine its status, identify spatiotemporal variations and distinguish the potential causes. Water quality dataset based on monitoring in the last two decades (1997–2017) from 21 monitoring sites distributed across the basin were analyzed using seasonal Kendall test and water quality index (WQI) method. The Kendall test shows significant declines in fecal coliform bacteria (FCB) and ammonia (NH3) in the upper reaches and increases in nitrate (NO3) and NH3 in the lower reaches. Strong temporal and spatial fluctuations were observed in both the concentrations of individual parameters and the WQI values. Seasonal variation of water quality was observed at each monitoring site. WQI values in August (flood season) were generally among the lowest, compared to other seasons. Spatially, sites in the upper reaches generally having lower WQI values than those in the lower reaches. Excessive phosphorus is the primary cause of water quality degradation in the upper reaches, while nitrogen is the primary parameter for water quality degradation in the lower reaches. Urban built-up land is an important “source” of water pollutants in the lower basin, while agricultural land plays a dual role, affecting across the basin. View Full-Text
Keywords: water quality; spatiotemporal variation; WQI; phosphorus; Mun River basin water quality; spatiotemporal variation; WQI; phosphorus; Mun River basin
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Tian, H.; Yu, G.-A.; Tong, L.; Li, R.; Huang, H.Q.; Bridhikitti, A.; Prabamroong, T. Water Quality of the Mun River in Thailand—Spatiotemporal Variations and Potential Causes. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3906.

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