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RMIT University (2018)

The impact of bushfires on water quality

Raducan Gabriela

Titre : The impact of bushfires on water quality

Auteur : Raducan Gabriela

Université de soutenance : RMIT University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2018

Résumé partiel
Population growth in urban areas leads to a higher demand in water use. Quality of water is an important factor not only from an aesthetic view, but also for ecological health purposes.

This paper presented research that is designed to develop a spatial approach to support the planning of the water quality in the areas subjected to bushfires, using a case study from state of Victoria. In particular, this research involved the implementation of a hydrological model in order to predict the river water quality, to assist in the decision-making process. The impact of bushfires on water quality can be highly variable for the most of the individual water quality parametres. This variability is caused by a number of landscape influences and climatic factors, most notably rainfall. High magnitude and intense rainfall events soon after fire generate the largest impacts on water quality and sometimes trigger extreme erosion events.

There are many important water quality parameters that must be taken into account when the water is delivered to the population. For some of the water quality parameters there is very little information available, which makes it difficult to draw conclusions about bushfire impacts. The monitoring campaigns are very expensive, and better options are the modeling tools. The model used in this research is eWater, a conceptual, semi-distributed model, which applies the flow accumulation principles. eWater Source - Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling Platform (NHMP) – is developed by eWater CRC, Australia. It is designed to simulate all aspects of water resource systems to support integrated planning, operations and governance from urban, catchment to river basin scales including human and ecological influences

Mots clés : Water quality Water pollution Modeling eWater Total suspended solids Total Nitrogen Total Phosphorus Bushfires Natural Resource Management Landscape Ecology Geospatial Information Systems

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