This paper develops two predictive models, one for river eutrophication risk and the other for microbial risk. The models are intended for a preliminary assessment of a river reach, particularly to assess the level of risk (high or low) for algal bloom and whether the river water is suitable for primary contact activities such as swimming.
The application of the tools can help in rapid assessment of river conditions, potential cost saving in river monitoring programs and in providing timely advice to community and other users for a particular aspect of river use. At present, there is no such tool available for river health based on physical water quality parameters.
This paper was developed by Dr Uthpala Pinto, Prof. Basant Maheshwari, Assoc. Prof. Surendra Shrestha, and Assoc. Prof. Charles Morris at University of Western Sydney. The research was based on historic datasets of over 25 years and two years field measurements at different reaches of the Hawkesbury Nepean River system.