Monitoring to detect changes in water quality to meet policy objectives

dc.contributor.authorMcDowell, Richard
dc.contributor.authorNoble, A
dc.contributor.authorKittridge, M
dc.contributor.authorAusseil, O
dc.contributor.authorDoscher, Crile
dc.contributor.authorHamilton, DP
dc.coverage.spatialEngland
dc.date.accessioned2024-02-12T02:43:07Z
dc.date.available2024-01-22
dc.date.issued2024
dc.date.submitted2024-01-19
dc.description.abstractDetecting change in water quality is key to providing evidence of progress towards meeting water quality objectives. A key measure for detecting change is statistical power. Here we calculate statistical power for all regularly (monthly) monitored streams in New Zealand to test the effectiveness of monitoring for policy that aims to decrease contaminant (phosphorus and nitrogen species, E. coli and visual clarity) concentrations to threshold levels in 5 or 20 years. While > 95% of all monitored sites had sufficient power and samples to detect change in nutrients and clarity over 20 years, on average, sampling frequency would have to double to detect changes in E. coli. Furthermore, to detect changes in 5 years, sampling for clarity, dissolved reactive phosphorus and E. coli would have to increase up to fivefold. The cost of sampling was predicted to increase 5.3 and 4.1 times for 5 and 20 years, respectively. A national model of statistical power was used to demonstrate that a similar number of samples (and cost) would be required for any new monitoring sites. Our work suggests that demonstrating the outcomes of implementing policy for water quality improvement may not occur without a step change in investment into monitoring systems. Emerging sampling technologies have potential to reduce the cost, but existing monitoring networks may also have to be rationalised to provide evidence that water quality is meeting objectives. Our study has important implications for investment decisions involving balancing the need for intensively sampled sites where changes in water quality occur rapidly versus other sites which provide long-term time series.
dc.format.extent13 pages
dc.format.mediumElectronic
dc.identifier10.1038/s41598-024-52512-7
dc.identifierhttps://www.webofscience.com/api/gateway?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=elements_prod&SrcAuth=WosAPI&KeyUT=WOS:001148428500070&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=WOS_CPL
dc.identifier.doi10.1038/s41598-024-52512-7
dc.identifier.eissn2045-2322
dc.identifier.issn2045-2322
dc.identifier.other38253723 (pubmed)
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10182/16864
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherSpringer Nature
dc.relationThe original publication is available from Springer Nature - https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-52512-7 - http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-52512-7
dc.relation.isPartOfScientific Reports
dc.relation.urihttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-52512-7
dc.rights© 2024 The Author(s).
dc.rights.ccnameAttribution
dc.rights.ccurihttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.subjectEscherichia coli
dc.subjectPhosphorus
dc.subjectInvestments
dc.subjectPolicy
dc.subjectWater Quality
dc.subject.anzsrc2020ANZSRC::410504 Surface water quality processes and contaminated sediment assessment
dc.subject.anzsrc2020ANZSRC::400411 Water treatment processes
dc.subject.anzsrc2020ANZSRC::400513 Water resources engineering
dc.subject.anzsrc2020ANZSRC::350201 Environment and climate finance
dc.subject.meshEscherichia coli
dc.subject.meshPhosphorus
dc.subject.meshInvestments
dc.subject.meshPolicy
dc.subject.meshWater Quality
dc.titleMonitoring to detect changes in water quality to meet policy objectives
dc.typeJournal Article
lu.contributor.unitLU
lu.contributor.unitLU|Agriculture and Life Sciences
lu.contributor.unitLU|Agriculture and Life Sciences|SOILS
lu.contributor.unitLU|Faculty of Environment, Society and Design
lu.contributor.unitLU|Faculty of Environment, Society and Design|SOLA
lu.contributor.unitLU|Research Management Office
lu.contributor.unitLU|Research Management Office|OLD QE18
lu.identifier.orcid0000-0003-3911-4825
lu.identifier.orcid0000-0003-2926-327X
pubs.article-number1914
pubs.issue1
pubs.publication-statusPublished
pubs.publisher-urlhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-52512-7
pubs.volume14
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