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Water Quality: Management, Sanitation and Investigation

Limnological Fundamentals

Factors influencing the quality of water in lakes and reservoirs

The quality of water in the reservoir is determined by the characteristics of the location and by the catchment area with the waters flowing into it. Reservoirs are therefore determined on one hand by factors naturally given in the area, for example, by:

- meteorological conditions,
- hydrological conditions,
- morphology of the catchment area,
- geological and hydrological conditions,
- soil chemistry and physical conditions
and by the characteristics of the retained body of water (surface, depth, volume).

These factors must be more or less accepted and can already determine the sensitivity of the reservoir in relation to inputs of nutrients and pollutants to an important extent.

Graphic example

Apart from prevailing factors determined naturally by the area, the quality of water is increasingly subject to antropogenic factors which frequently affect water quality in a concentrated and direct way. Especially worth mentioning in this context are:

- use in the catchment area
- use and management of the reservoir/lake
- atmospheric inputs

Influence can be more or less brought to bear on these factors by using targetted measures coordinated with each other so that the water quality can be positively influenced over the short term, the middle term or the first time even over the long term.

Graphic example

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© | Dipl.-Biol. Hartmut Willmitzer |  31.07. 2000 | Copyright