Original Articles

COMMENTS ON THE WATER QUALITY OF THE MHLATHUZE ESTUARY IN RELATION TO DETERMINING THE ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY CLASS

DOI: 10.1080/10183469.1998.9631415
Author(s): V. WepenerCoastal Research Unit of Zululand, Department of Zoology, South Africa, L.A. VermeulenCoastal Research Unit of Zululand, Department of Zoology, South Africa

Abstract

Water quality forms an integral component of the determination of the Ecological Reserve of a water resource. This paper presents the available historical and current information on the water quality of the Mhlathuze estuary, The data were assessed in order to determine the forcing factors that characterise the water quality of Mhlathuze estuary. These factors were used in conjunction with a previously-developed water quality indexing system to assign a water quality integrity class to the Mhlathuze estuary. Three reaches of the estuary were classified as being largely natural with few modifications. Major issues relating to water quality data gaps were identified. By addressing these issues an integrity class could in future be assigned with greater confidence.

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