Land Use and Water Quality in New York Rivers

by Douglas A. Haith, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Agricultural and Civ. Engrg., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 1, Pg. 1-15

Document Type: Journal Paper


The Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 require that land-use management and control of nonpoint pollution sources be included in areawide water quality planning. At the present time, few tested procedures are available to implement this policy. Statistical techniques, including correlation and regression analyses, offer a promising methodology for the study of land use and nonpoint source impacts on water quality. The methodology has been applied to water quality and land-use data from 20 river basins in New York State. The results indicated that river basin land uses could account for up to 89% of the observed variation in mean river nitrogen concentrations and 63% of the observed variation in mean total suspended solids concentrations. No relationships between phosphorus concentrations and land uses were found in the basins.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Water pollution | Nonpoint pollution | Basins | Land use | Water use | Rivers and streams | Regression analysis | New York | United States

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