Surface water bodies are progressively subjected to stress as a result of anthropogenic activities. This study assessed and examined the impact of human activities on spatial variation in the water quality of 19 rivers in the Taihu watershed. Concentrations of physicochemical parameters of surface water quality were determined at the mouth of each river during the period of 2000-2004. Multivariate statistical techniques were applied to identify characteristics of the water quality in the studied rivers. The results showed that rivers strongly influenced by household wastewater have the highest concentrations of nutrients (TN and TP). Moreover, rivers in the vicinity of a metropolis presented low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels. However, organic-chemical pollution (petroleum and volatile phenolics) was identified with high localization. Two rivers influenced by sewage from industry and ships were distinguished from other rivers with high values of petroleum. The Taige channel, a river located in Changzhou City that is strongly influenced by wastewater from industry, was characterized with an extraordinarily high value of volatile phenolics. Rivers passing through countries, especially through hilly countries were characterized with high DO contents and low nutrient and organic-chemical pollution, suggesting that agriculture puts less pressure on water quality in adjacent rivers. Therefore, more effort should be made in controlling point pollution to restore water quality in rivers adjacent to cities.
- shallow lake