Assessment of the Impacts of Terrestrial Determinants on Surface Water Quality at Multiple Spatial Scales
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National Institute of Urban Infrastructure Planning, University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar, 25000, Pakistan
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar (Bannu Campus), 28100, Bannu, Pakistan
Higher Education Department KPK, Pakistan
Submission date: 2020-03-26
Final revision date: 2020-05-15
Acceptance date: 2020-05-16
Online publication date: 2021-01-21
Publication date: 2021-03-08
Corresponding author
Afedullah Khan   

Department of Civil Engineering,, University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar, Bannu Campus, Pakistan
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2021;30(3):2137–2147
Investigating terrestrial determinants impacts on surface water quality is critical for watershed management. This research work reports the terrestrial determinants influence on surface water quality at multiple spatial scales at two trans-boundary rivers of Pakistan: The Ravi and Sutlej. This study is based on 18 physicochemical and trace elements (pH, turbidity, electrical conductivity (EC), NO3, total dissolved solid (TDS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), dissolved oxygen (DO), hardness, total nitrogen, phosphorus, Cu, Pb, As, Cr, Mn, Zn, and Cd) from 15 water quality monitoring stations. Terrestrial determinants especially village land use, coarse grained soil (high permeability) and mean slope (high erosion) can impair surface water quality. On the other hand, fine grained soil can protect stream health due to strong retention capacity and low infiltration capability. All spatial scales best explained terrestrial determinants-water quality relationship. Conservative practices are suggested at riparian as well as subbasin scale to account for the nearest and furthest pollutants sources. Restoration of riparian ecosystems should be a high priority for water quality enhancement in particular along the Ravi and Sutlej rivers and the two plains where there are intensive human activities at village level.