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Impact of climate change on the Göta Älv river water quality, part of EU-Interreg project DiPol
Climate changes will lead to extensive rainfalls, extreme discharges of rivers, and increased seawater levels. Along with the increased water quantity in the northern, Europe this development will have consequences also for the water quality in terms of nutrients and contaminants that are flushed from streets and agricultural areas into rivers and transported to the coastal areas impacting bordering countries. Dissolved toxic substances and nutrients from urban water runoff, contaminated solid matter and sediments are transported downstream to the mouth of a river and reach the coastal zones with its sensitive ecosystem. The DiPol project aims at to collect knowledge of the impact of climate change on pollution transport and on water quality. One of the major aims for the Gothenburg case study site is to quantify the particle bound transport compared to pollutants transported in dissolved form.
As due to the ongoing monitoring programmes of the Gothenburg city, a lot of data exists on concentrations of dissolved substances in water. However, there is a lack of data concerning particle bound transport. Climate change will influence land erosion, sediment mobilisation, urban runoff, river flooding and sediment reworking and remobilisation in the coastal zone. These processes can have a serious impact on the environmental quality. To be able to assess the risk associated with climate change, particle bound contaminants of the river system will be studied.
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