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Article

Anthropogenic Disturbances Have Contributed to Degradation of River Water Quality in Arid Areas

by 1,*, 1,2, 1 and 2,*
1
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Taiyuan University of Science and Technology, Taiyuan 030024, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Layla Ben Ayed, Eleni Golomazou, Panagiotis Karanis, Patrick Scheid, Ourania Tzoraki, Anna Lass and Muhammad Shahid Iqbal
Water 2021, 13(22), 3305; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223305
Received: 12 October 2021 / Revised: 10 November 2021 / Accepted: 12 November 2021 / Published: 22 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Topic Emerging Solutions for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)
The earth has been reshaped for millennia. The accelerating pace of anthropogenic activities has generated enormous impacts on the water environment. As one of the main drivers of landscape change, anthropogenic disturbance has brought many negative effects on rivers. Studying the relationship between anthropogenic disturbances and river water quality is of significance for regional conservation and ecosystem management, while the relationship remains poorly understood in the current. In this study, we quantified anthropogenic disturbances by introducing the concept of the hemeroby index and evaluated rivers’ water quality in eight sub-watersheds on the Loess Plateau. The results indicated that 37.5% of the sub-watersheds were in Eutrophic status, and 62.5% were in Marginal water quality index. The river water quality was most poor in the southwestern region near the Yellow River with high-level anthropogenic disturbance. A correlation analysis between water quality indicators and hemeroby suggested that anthropogenic disturbance contributed to a significant water quality deterioration trend (p < 0.01). The river water quality was relatively sensitive to the changes of completely disturbed land-use covers, including urban and industrial land. Our findings provide theoretical guidance for regional water resources conservation and ecosystem management in arid areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: hemeroby; land-use covers; the Loess Plateau; trophic state; water quality hemeroby; land-use covers; the Loess Plateau; trophic state; water quality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ji, L.; Li, Y.; Zhang, G.; Bi, Y. Anthropogenic Disturbances Have Contributed to Degradation of River Water Quality in Arid Areas. Water 2021, 13, 3305. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223305

AMA Style

Ji L, Li Y, Zhang G, Bi Y. Anthropogenic Disturbances Have Contributed to Degradation of River Water Quality in Arid Areas. Water. 2021; 13(22):3305. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223305

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ji, Li, Yuan Li, Guixiang Zhang, and Yonghong Bi. 2021. "Anthropogenic Disturbances Have Contributed to Degradation of River Water Quality in Arid Areas" Water 13, no. 22: 3305. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223305

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