The spatial impact of rural economic change on river water quality
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CitationCathal O’Donoghue, Cathal Buckley, Aksana Chyzheuskaya, Stuart Green, Peter Howley, Stephen Hynes, Vincent Upton, Mary Ryan, The spatial impact of rural economic change on river water quality, Land Use Policy, Volume 103, 2021, 105322, ISSN 0264-8377, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2021.105322.
AbstractThis paper, using Ireland as a case study, examines the relationship between rural economic activities and river water quality. The stipulation from the EU water framework directive (WFD) that all surface waters in the EU must be of ‘good ecological status’ necessitates a quantitative understanding of the major determinants of water quality. Within this context, this paper combines a number of spatial datasets relating to agricultural, land use, residential and industrial activities, to examine the major economic influences on the ecological quality of water resources. It is hoped that providing a comprehensive understanding of the effect of a variety of economic activities that influence the ecological quality of water will be an important tool in the management of risk and will allow for more appropriate land use planning aimed at restoring and maintaining water quality as required by the WFD. Results indicate that the level of forestry, industrial activity, the intensity and type of agricultural activity and the type of wastewater treatment in an area are all critical factors affecting the quality of water resources. The model finds that relationship between agriculture and water quality improved over time during a period where there was substantial legislative measures and financial support to facilitate improved water quality.
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