CCT: A simple prioritisation tool for identifying critical source areas for managing waterborne pollutants

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Title: CCT: A simple prioritisation tool for identifying critical source areas for managing waterborne pollutants
Authors: Packham, I.
Archbold, Marie A.
Mockler, Eva M.
Bruen, Michael
et al.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/7890
Date: 14-Jul-2016
Abstract: Catchment characterisation integrates an understanding of the physical characteristics, sources, pathways and pressures in a catchment, and provides a scientific basis for evaluation of mitigation measures required by the EU Water Framework Directive. In Ireland, the Catchment Characterisation Tool (CCT) has been developed to assess the potential risk posed by nitrate and phosphate from diffuse agricultural sources to surface and groundwater receptors, and to delineate critical source areas in Irish sub-catchments (typically from 10 – 200 km2 in size) as a means of facilitating the targeting of mitigation measures. The CCT for nitrate, which is presented in this paper, is a steady-state model based on annual average nitrate loadings transported from their land sources along near surface and subsurface pathways to each receptor. The GIS-based model links spatial datasets, such as land-use, soil and geological properties with transport and delivery factors derived from field and literature data. The model can distinguish between the contaminant loads transported through each of the major hydrological pathways. The CCT calculates the nitrate loading to surface waters following the source-pathway-receptor methodology, and results are displayed in pollution impact potential maps. A key issue with such export models is how they can be validated. This paper describes the validation methodology which compared a national dataset of measured nitrate concentrations in Irish water bodies with values predicted by the CCT. More detailed comparisonswith local test catchments that are more intensively monitored showed satisfactory correlation between the CCT predictions and measured concentrations. This paper thus shows both the potential of the CCT approach, the likely range of the uncertainty to be expected, and the issues that arise from its validation.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Keywords: Water framework directive;Catchment characterisation;Model validation;Mapping pollution risk
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Is part of: Proceedings of the 8th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software in Toulouse, France, 10-14 July 2016
Conference Details: 8th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software in Toulouse, France, 10-14 July 2016
Appears in Collections:Centre for Water Resources Research Collection
Earth Institute Research Collection
Civil Engineering Research Collection

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