Preliminary identification of watershed management strategies for the Houjing river in Taiwan

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The Houjing River watershed is one of the three major river watersheds in the Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Based on the recent water quality analysis, the Houjing River is heavily polluted. Both point and non-point source (NPS) pollutants are the major causes of the poor water quality in the Houjing River. Investigation results demonstrate that the main point pollution sources included municipal, agricultural, and industrial wastewaters. In this study, land use identification in the Houjing River watershed was performed by integrating the skills of geographic information system (GIS) and global positioning system (GPS). Results show that the major land-use patterns in the upper catchment of the Houjing River watershed were farmlands, and land-use patterns in the mid to lower catchment were residential and industrial areas. An integrated watershed management model (IWMM) and Enhanced Stream Water Quality Model (QUAL2K) were applied for the hydrology and water quality modeling, watershed management, and carrying capacity calculation. Modeling results show that the calculated NH3-N carrying capacity of the Houjing River was only 31 kg/day. Thus, more than 10,518 kg/day of NH3-N needs to be reduced to meet the proposed water quality standard (0.3 mg/L). To improve the river water quality, the following remedial strategies have been developed to minimize the impacts of NPS and point source pollution on the river water quality: (1) application of BMPs [e.g. source (fertilizer) reduction, construction of grassy buffer zone, and land use management] for NPS pollution control; (2) application of river management scenarios (e.g. construction of the intercepting and sewer systems) for point source pollution control; (3) institutional control (enforcement of the industrial wastewater discharge standards), and (4) application of on-site wastewater treatment systems for the polishment of treated wastewater for water reuse.

Keywords: best management practice (BMP), carrying capacity, multimedia modeling, non-point source (NPS) pollution, water quality modeling, watershed management

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