Development and application of GIS-based assessment of land-use impacts on water quality: A case study of the Kharaa River Basin
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Effective analytical tools, such as geographical information systems (GIS) and multivariate analysis, help to deal with spatial data and complex interactions in watershed management. To investigate the impact of land-use on chemical water quality in the Mongolian Kharaa River Basin, the whole catchment and sub-catchments in relation to each sampling point were delineated. Chemical water quality over three seasons was assessed with GIS and RDA in a modeling approach with forward selection of variables and cluster analysis. The most powerful predictors of river water quality were altitude, settlements, forest, cropland, and distance to spring. In particular, this was true when instead of full sub-basins riparian buffer zones (max. 3 km) were considered. From a management perspective, this implies that the protection of riparian zones should be a priority in the Kharaa basin and similar river basins in Mongolia and Central Asia. Because of its positive effects on water quality, forest protection should be closely coupled with river basin management.
KeywordsBasenet (Baikal-Selenga Network) Model selection Mongolia Pollution RDA Watershed management
This research was financially supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF grant no. 033L003A) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) (Scholarship No. A/12/97034 for GB). We express special gratitude to staff members of the Department of the Aquatic Ecosystem Analysis and Management (UFZ) for all support during the study and to the water analysis and chemometrics team of the River Ecology Department, UFZ, for sample analysis and preparation, especially PD Dr. Wolf von Tümpling for advice and guidance. Special thanks for Prof. Dr. Galbadrakh R., Dr. Saulyegul A., Dr. Enkhdol T., Batchuluun Ts., Irmuunzaya Kh., Oyundelger Kh. and Bolortuya B. for their valuable help and support for the field work. We are grateful to UFZ science photographer André Künzelmann for provision of professional photos from our Mongolian study site.
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