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Title: Risk assessment of water quantity and quality stressors to balance the use and protection of vulnerable water resources.
Authors: O'Brien, Gordon Craig.
School of Biology and Environmental Sciences
Keywords: Multiple stressors.;Ecological risk assessment.;Water resources.;Sustainability.;Bayesian networks.
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Wiley
Abstract: In developing regions of the world, valuable and vulnerable water resources are being used excessively. Through water resource development, multiple water quality, flow, and other stressors threaten the sustainable use and protection of these resources. Few attempts have been made to evaluate the synergistic effects of multiple water quality and flow stressors to socioecological attributes of systems that we care about in integrated water resource management. Regional scale ecological risk assessments evaluate the probable negative effects of multiple stressors, affecting dynamic ecosystems on multiple spatial scales. The present study demonstrates how multiple water quality, flow, and other stressors that cumulatively affect the sustainability of the lower Thukela River, South Africa, can be evaluated using the relative risk model, Bayesian network (RRM‐BN) approach. This risk assessment facilitated the establishment of minimum water quality and flow requirements to maintain the sustainability of this system and make water resource use and protection trade‐off decisions. In this case study, the risk of 10 water resources use and protection scenarios were evaluated in a regional scale ecological risk assessment of the socioecological attributes of the lower Thukela River. In addition we evaluated the consequences associated with these scenarios based on risk pathways of multiple sources, stressors, and receptors to endpoints that represent the sustainable vision of multiple stakeholders of the system. The outcomes of the present study have contributed to new evidence to improve the water resource use efficiency and protect important resources of the lower Thukela River, to ensure sustainability.
Description: Please note that only UMP researchers are shown in the metadata. To access the co-authors, please view the full text.
DOI: 10.1002/ieam.4356
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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