Reach-scale variation surface water quality in a reticular canal system in the lower Yangtze River Delta region, China

James Andrew Griffiths, Faith Ka Shun Chan, Fangfang Zhu, Vickie Wang, David Laurence Higgitt

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this research was to assess the spatial and temporal distribution of surface water pollution within a reticular canal system typical of those found in the lower Yangtze River Delta (YRD). For this purpose, surface water quality data was collected from a drainage canal that bisected the southeast district of Ningbo Municipality (Zhejiang) from 2013 to 2015. The sampling transect was designed to represent the change in land-use from the agriculture dominated rural hinterland, to the predominantly urban city-centre. To calculate the representative land-use fraction of each sampling location, the contributing area was defined using an uni-directional 1 km vector line-buffer around the ‘upstream’ section of canal. The spatial and temporal variation of EC, DO, NH3 and turbidity indicated a measureable difference between the urban and rural sections of the channel. Water quality indicators were most sensitive to urban and parkland land-use types. The study yielded an increased spatial resolution to knowledge of water-quality variability in the urban environment compared to previous studies within the YRD region. The results were used to make recommendations for the development of an effective long-term strategy for the improvement in surface water quality in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-90
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Drainage
  • Land-use
  • Spatial analysis
  • Water-management
  • Water-quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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