Climate, Pollution and Adaptation
Chapter 4: Measuring urban water pollutants
The increasing varieties and quantities of pollutants that enter water bodies as a result of rapid urbanisation, industrialisation, population growth and agricultural activities are a source of concern. Virtually all urban developmental activities, which alter an existing land use, can potentially lead to adverse consequences on the quality of the surrounding water environment (Hall and Ellis, 1985; House et al., 1993). A review by Richardson and Ternes (2011) showed that in addition to traditional water pollutants such as heavy metals and suspended solids, the number and diversity of emerging water pollutants are increasing. In particular, the accumulation of pharmaceuticals, consumer products, hormones and endocrine disrupting compounds in the environment which may facilitate the development of resistance by bacteria, and lead to oestrogenic or androgenic effects on animals and humans have attracted significant interest. Although the full extent of the adverse effects of these pollutants is still poorly understood, a key to the mitigation of the impacts is the availability of accurate methods for the monitoring of water quality parameters. The effects of global climate change which were discussed in detail in Chapter 2 will affect water quality in the Australian continent (CSIRO, 2003, 2007; Abbs and Rafter, 2008; McFarlane et al., 2012). Increase in water temperature will lead to higher solubilities for ionic pollutants while longer antecedent dry periods will cause droughts, increase pollutant build-up on impervious surfaces and impact on water security.
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