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Open AccessArticle

Land Cover and Water Quality Patterns in an Urban River: A Case Study of River Medlock, Greater Manchester, UK

1
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
2
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7UA, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(3), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030848
Received: 31 January 2020 / Revised: 11 March 2020 / Accepted: 13 March 2020 / Published: 17 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
Urban river catchments face multiple water quality challenges that threaten the biodiversity of riverine habitats and the flow of ecosystem services. We examined two water quality challenges, runoff from increasingly impervious land covers and effluent from combined sewer overflows within a temperate zone river catchment in Greater Manchester, North-West UK. Sub-catchment areas of the River Medlock were delineated from digital elevation models using a Geographical Information System. By combining flow accumulation and high-resolution land cover data within each sub-catchment and water quality measurements at five sampling points along the river, we identified which land cover(s) are key drivers of water quality. Impervious land covers increased downstream and were associated with higher runoff and poorer water quality. Of the impervious covers, transportation networks have the highest runoff ratios and therefore the greatest potential to convey contaminants to the river. We suggest more integrated management of imperviousness to address water quality, flood risk and, urban wellbeing could be achieved with greater catchment partnership working. View Full-Text
Keywords: water quality monitoring; water quality status; sources and pathways; land cover; digital elevation model; urban river; ArcGIS water quality monitoring; water quality status; sources and pathways; land cover; digital elevation model; urban river; ArcGIS
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Medupin, C.; Bark, R.; Owusu, K. Land Cover and Water Quality Patterns in an Urban River: A Case Study of River Medlock, Greater Manchester, UK. Water 2020, 12, 848.

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