, Volume 40, Issue 1–2, pp 135–146 | Cite as

Urbanization and agricultural intensification in the Lower Fraser River valley,: Impacts on water use and quality

  • Hall Ken J. 
  • Schreier Hans 
I. General Impacts of Human Population Growth on Inland Waters (c) North America


The Fraser River drains a quarter of the province of British Columbia and is renown as one of the greatest salmon rivers in the world. The Fraser watershed is under threat from rapid urbanization in its lower reaches as pollutants generated from domestic and industrial wastes, and stormwater runoff threaten the health of the aquatic ecosystem. Plans for secondary sewage treatment in the metropolitan area will reduce waste loadings of some contaminants, but rapid growth will soon offset these benefits. Intensive urbanization, spreading up the Lower Fraser valley, with a network of impervious roads and increased traffic volumes contribute pollutants in surface runoff that are difficult to control. Rapid growth in agrobusiness to provide fresh produce to the nearby markets has resulted in very high densities of farm animals and excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides on the land. These pollutants threaten the groundwater and many of the remaining salmonid streams in the lower valley. The Fraser Basin Management Program, the Fraser River Estuary Management Program, and a variety of government agencies are coordinating studies and analyzing issues and conflicts to develop a strategy for sustainable development in the region.


River Estuary Traffic Volume Fresh Produce Agricultural Intensification Stormwater Runoff 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hall Ken J. 
    • 1
  • Schreier Hans 
    • 1
  1. 1.Westwater Research Centre and Resource Management and Environmental StudiesThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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