This research investigated the spatiotemporal variation of water quality in the Gilgel Gibe reservoir, Ethiopia, using physicochemical water quality parameters. Nonparametric tests and multivariate statistical techniques were used to evaluate data sets measured during dry and rainy seasons. Electrical conductivity (EC), pH, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), nitrate (NO3 −), total dissolved solids (TDSs), and total suspended solids (TSSs) were all significantly different among seasons (Mann-Whitney U test, p < 0.01). In addition, principal component analysis distinguished dry season samples from wet season samples. The dry season was positively associated with EC, pH, TP, TN, NO3 −, TDS, and TSS and negatively associated with BOD5. The wet season was in contrast associated with high values of turbidity, soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), water temperature, and dissolved oxygen (DO). Within the reservoir, spatial variation was observed for some of the water quality parameters, with significant difference at p = < 0.05. Overall, high nutrient concentrations suggest eutrophic conditions, likely due to high nutrient loading from the watershed. Levels of TSS, attributed to inputs from tributaries, have been excessive enough to inhibit light penetration and thus have a considerable impact on the aquatic food web. Our findings indicate that the reservoir is at high risk of eutrophication and siltation, and hence, urgent action should target the planning and implementation of integrated watershed management for this and similar reservoirs in the region.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 22, 2018
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