Investigating Water Quality and Ecological Health within Kempen-Broek, Natuurmonumenten
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Kempen-Broek is one of many cross-border wetlands. These wetlands provide important economic and ecological value. However, in the Netherlands, many surface waters have been determined to have pooper surface water quality according to WFD parameters (Fraters, et al., 2017), which will affect the wetlands biological functions and diminish their value. The Surface water quality in Kempen-Broek, in particular, may be contaminated due to its proximity to an industrial zone, surrounding agricultural, urban land and unique land-use change. However, there is no existing in-depth water analysis within the Kempen-Broek area to demine if this area may be under threat of pollutants. Therefore, it would be essential to identify the current water quality and have an indication of potential point sources and diffuse sources of pollutants. This, in turn, will help identify if Kempen-Broek has deteriorated surface water quality that may impact ecosystem health. The aim of this study is to have a better understanding of the surface water quality in the Kempen-Broek area. In this way, this study aims to identify key point sources and diffuse sources of pollutants and identify key impacted areas together with mitigating strategies. Surface water samples were collected and investigated for nutrients (N and P), Major ions (Al, B, Ba, Be, Fe K, Fl, Cl, Br, Si, So4, Na, and Mg) and Heavy metal (Ca, Cd, Ni, Cr, Co, Zn, Zr, Sr, Mo, and Mn). In addition, indicator species and biodiversity were investigated to determine relationships between water quality and ecological health. Following the investigations, Kempen-Broek’s surface waters, generally, show to be good in terms of ecological health. There is evidence that surrounding land uses have impacted surface water quality. There is a concern in a few sample sites that have higher Fe, F- and Zn++ concentrations. Fe may be contributed to alterations in stream flows contributing to higher oxidations rates. F- and Zn contributions are suggested to reflect the surrounding industrial land use. There are no immediate mitigation strategies required. Further studies are suggested as higher F- and Zn++can have an impact on insects and plant function. From this study, it has been recommended that Natuurmonumenten continues monitoring. The on-going cost of monitoring can be minimised by focussing on those sites that can be expected to show signs of change first and limiting measures to those of higher risk. This study can be used as a baseline and expanded to show trends over time to provide early warning of negative change. The ideal would be to include seasonal impact, so potentially two sets of samples per annum: summer and winter one year than spring and autumn the following and so on. Limit the samples to E.C., F-, Zn++, P and N.