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dc.contributor.authorDe Necker, Lizaan
dc.contributor.authorVan Vuren, Johan
dc.contributor.authorBrendonck, Luc
dc.contributor.authorWepener, Victor
dc.contributor.authorSmit, Nico
dc.date.accessioned2020-03-25T09:34:00Z
dc.date.available2020-03-25T09:34:00Z
dc.date.issued2020
dc.identifier.citationDe Necker, L. et al. 2020. Long-term water quality patterns of a flow regulated tropical lowland river. Water, 12(1): #37. [https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010037]en_US
dc.identifier.issn2073-4441 (Online)
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10394/34436
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/12/1/37/pdf
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.3390/w12010037
dc.description.abstractFloodplain ecosystems in Africa are under threat due to direct anthropogenic pressure and climate change. The lower Phongolo River and associated floodplain is South Africa’s largest inland floodplain ecosystem and has been regulated by the Pongolapoort Dam since the 1970s. The last controlled flood release from the dam occurred in December 2014, after which a severe drought occurred and only a base flow was released. The central aims of this study were to determine the historic and present water quality state of the middle and lower Phongolo River and assess the possible effects of the most recent drought may have had. Historic water quality data (1970s to present) were obtained from monitoring stations within the Phongolo River catchment to assess the long-term water quality patterns. Using multivariate statistical analyses as well as the Physicochemical Driver Assessment Index (PAI), a water quality index developed for South African riverine ecosystems, various in situ and chemical water variables were analysed. Key findings included that the water quality of the middle and lower Phongolo River has degraded since the 1970s, due to increased salinity and nutrient inputs from surrounding irrigation schemes. The Pongolapoort Dam appears to be trapping nutrient-rich sediments leading to nutrient-depleted water entering the lower Phongolo River. The nutrient levels increase again as the river flows through the downstream floodplain through input from nutrient rich soils and fertilizers. The drought did not have any significant effect on water quality as the PAI remained similar to pre-drought conditionsen_US
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherMDPIen_US
dc.subjectAnthropogenic effectsen_US
dc.subjectDroughten_US
dc.subjectDamsen_US
dc.subjectFloodplain systemen_US
dc.subjectSediment retentionen_US
dc.subjectSalinizationen_US
dc.subjectSouthern Africaen_US
dc.subjectSouth Africaen_US
dc.titleLong-term water quality patterns of a flow regulated tropical lowland riveren_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.contributor.researchID12579769 - Wepener, Victor
dc.contributor.researchID21250545 - Smit, Nicholas Jacobus
dc.contributor.researchID29898382 - Brendonck, Luc Gerard Eric
dc.contributor.researchID28509633 - De Necker, Lizaan
dc.contributor.researchID11724978 - Van Vuren, J.H.J.


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