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01.03.2017 | Thematic Issue | Ausgabe 5/2017

Environmental Earth Sciences 5/2017

Lake water quality assessment: a case study of Shahu Lake in the semiarid loess area of northwest China

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 5/2017
Autoren:
Jianhua Wu, Chenyang Xue, Rui Tian, Siting Wang
Wichtige Hinweise
This article is a part of a Topical Collection in Environmental Earth Sciences on Water resources development and protection in loess areas of the world, edited by Drs. Peiyue Li and Hui Qian.

Abstract

A comprehensive assessment on lake water quality was carried out in Shahu Lake, northwest China, to provide valuable information about present lake water quality for decision making. Major ions, general parameters, bacteriological parameters, organics and trace metals monitored monthly in 2014 were considered. Monitored parameters were compared with quality criteria for surface water of China, and overall water quality assessment was carried out using an entropy weighted water quality index (EWQI) based on 20 selected parameters. Lake water quality was also assessed for irrigation purpose. The results show that the lake water is of Cl·SO4–Na facies with high salinity and COD. The geochemistry of the lake water is regulated by intense evaporation and human activities. TP, TN and F are major inorganic contaminants, with over 50% of the water samples polluted by them. Oil, mainly attributed by leaky motor tourist boats, is the major organic pollutants in the lake water, with 10 samples (37.04%) showing higher oil content than the permissible limit. The concentrations of other inorganic and organic contaminants as well as trace metals are well below the permissible limits. The present study indicates that inorganic contamination in the lake water is more severe than organic pollution. The overall lake water quality, assessed by EWQI, is poor and very poor with SO4 2−, TDS, TH and Cl being the dominant contributing factors. The lake water is suitable for irrigation in terms of alkalinity, but is unsuitable for irrigation from the salinity point of view. Accelerating the circulation and replenishment of the lake water is an important way of reducing contaminant concentrations. This study is important in providing comprehensive information on lake water quality for decision makers and valuable reference for international lake water researchers.

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