The impact of farming on river banks on water quality of the rivers

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Abstract

A study was carried out in a strip of a river in the dry and rainy seasons to assess the effect of farming along river banks on the quality of water in rivers. The results showed that there was an increase in the concentration of nitrate in the water downstream in both the rainy and dry seasons. In both rainy and dry seasons, the total nitrogen in the soil was highest (p<0.01) in the middle section. Significant seasonal differences (p<0.01) were observed for phosphate in water, being higher in the dry season. In the soil, the concentration of phosphate showed significant sectional differences (p<0.01) in the rainy season with the highest concentration observed in the lower section (1.740.01mg/l) and the least in the upper section (1.020.01g/l). However, in the dry season, the highest concentration was obtained in the middle section (1.690.01mg/l) and the least in the upper section (1.150.02 mg/l). The results suggest that the farms along the riverbanks have an impact on the water quality of the water in the river. It is therefore recommended that there should be close monitoring of the activities of the farms on riverbanks to minimise their impacts on the natural ecosystems that they interact with. Frequent monitoring of the water quality in the rivers relative to the farming estates should be done.

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