Charting a perfect storm of water quality pressures

Per-Erik Mellander, Phil Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The agri-food economy can be a significant driver of water quality pressures but the role of hydro-meteorological patterns in a changing climate also requires consideration. For this purpose, an assessment was made of a ten-year synchronous high temporal resolution water quality and hydro-meteorological dataset in Irish agricultural catchments. Changes occurring to rainfall intensity and soil temperature patterns were found to be important drivers of nutrient mobility in soils. There were links between the intensity of the North Atlantic Oscillation over the decade and large shifts in baseline nutrient concentrations in catchments. The data also revealed extreme weather impacts to pollution patterns including short periods of rain induced nutrient flux, that exceeded average annual mass loads in these catchments, and drought influences on point source pollution. These influences need consideration, and may require different mitigation strategies, as links between water quality land use pressure and water quality state in regulatory reviews. In a decade of both increased land use source and hydro-meteorological transport pressures, water quality natural capital in Ireland has faced a perfect storm. Such conditions are difficult to model and only revealed in high temporal resolution datasets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147576
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume787
Early online date7 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was made within the Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). We thank farmers for their cooperation and access to their land and those locally responsible for the daily maintenance of the monitoring stations. We thank the ACP team and staff of the Teagasc Johnstown Castle Environmental Research Centre. DAFM kindly helped with economic trend analysis on agricultural outputs from datasets held by the Central Statistics Office.

Funding Information:
This study was made within the Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine ( DAFM ). We thank farmers for their cooperation and access to their land and those locally responsible for the daily maintenance of the monitoring stations. We thank the ACP team and staff of the Teagasc Johnstown Castle Environmental Research Centre. DAFM kindly helped with economic trend analysis on agricultural outputs from datasets held by the Central Statistics Office.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Climate change
  • North Atlantic oscillation
  • Nutrients
  • Water pollution

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Charting a perfect storm of water quality pressures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this