Climate change and increases in drought and rainstorms pose serious challenges to our water management.
Climate change and increases in drought and rainstorms pose serious challenges to our water management. Not only the availability of water is under pressure, but also its quality. However, according to the most recent IPCC report our current understanding of this issue is inadequate. To fill this gap, an international group of scientists has brought together a large body of research on water quality in rivers worldwide. The study published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment shows that river water quality tends to deteriorate during extreme weather events. As these events become more frequent and severe due to climate change, ecosystem health and human access to safe water may be increasingly under threat.
The research led by Dr Michelle van Vliet of Utrecht University analysed 965 cases of river water quality changes during extreme weather such as drought, heatwaves, rainstorms, and flooding, as well as under long-term (multidecadal) changes in climate. “We looked at various water quality constituents such as water temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity and concentration of nutrients, metals, microorganisms, pharmaceuticals, and plastics,” says van Vliet.
Read more at: Utrecht University