Dilution of pollution? Processes affecting the water quality in the river-style Three Gorges Reservoir
- 370 Downloads
The Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) in the Yangtze River is a unique water body. There is no comparative river-style reservoir in the world with similar characteristics and magnitudes of shape, size, water level fluctuation, and discharge. This highly dynamic system is located in a rapidly developing area of China covering parts of the Hubei Province and Chongqing Municipality. Increasing efforts for waste water treatment and pollution management can hardly compete with growing urban areas, industry, and infrastructure. Thus, huge amounts of various pollutants enter the TGR water bodies through point and non-point sources. Serious eutrophication problems manifest themselves in increasing numbers of algal blooms, especially in tributary backwaters of TGR. Besides nutrient loads, absolute concentrations of anthropogenic pollutants like heavy metals and organic chemical compounds rarely reach critical levels according to the Chinese, German, and WHO water quality guidelines. The massive...