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Environmental Chemistry

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Autor: 24  •  March 9, 2011  •  620 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,372 Views

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Environmental Chemistry: Water testing in Bouregreg Valley

Nowadays we are more and more concerned of environmental issues and especially the ones about water since experts have remarked that wetland regions are disappearing (50% reduction). Wetland regions are very important because they help preserve different wildlife species and also can be considered important indicators of the health of the “blue planet”.

One of the most interesting wetland regions is the Bouregreg one that is close to Rabat. This region is experiencing a quick urbanisation and an increase in its services for the tourist industry, which are putting pressure on the remaining natural habitats. This region is rich in wildlife, featuring a great diversity of reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and birds. Even the fact that this region is a very important natural resource for our country, it is suffering from the huge number of human activities that are changing the natural environment, whether intentional or unintentional.

A small analysis of the quality of water will be helpful to identify the impact it has on the region and the problems faced there. For the water analysis there were different samples taken from different locations: canals, drainage ditches, and stagnant pools where water was tested for a range of parameters:

- pH

- dissolved oxygen

- nitrate ion concentration

- phosphate ion concentration

- turbidity

“The type of testing that were carried out varied from simple test strip methods for pH and nitrate ion concentration to electronic sensing (for dissolved oxygen and turbidity, for example), reflectometric reading of test strip colours (for nitrate and phosphate ion concentration), and the use of specific ion electrodes (for nitrate ion concentration).”

A major focus was to assess whether fertilisers were trickling from the nearest agricultural zones into the protected area. Such leaching would result in eutrophication and its consequent impacts on the ecology of this environmentally sensitive area. One aspect of the studies that has produced revealing results on statistical analysis was the testing of nitrate levels. The aim of this analysis was to see if there was any relationship between nitrate concentrations and agricultural activity at different sites. “The test was used to see if there was any correlation between the distance from the nearest arable land and the nitrate content of the water sample. The results showed no apparent correlation.”

The fact that there was no apparent correlation led to consider the different nature of the sample sites. Lakefront sites, part of the large body of water, were likely to have very low nitrate levels through dilution when


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