Protected areas are a cornerstone strategy for terrestrial and increasingly marine biodiversity conservation, but their use for conserving inland waters has received comparatively scant attention. In 2010, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) included a target of 17% protection for inland waters, yet there has been no meaningful way of measuring progress toward that target. Defining and evaluating “protection” is especially complicated for rivers because their integrity is intimately linked to impacts in their upstream catchments.
Urban waters remain widely impaired by excess nutrients, despite substantial management efforts. We present a comparison of urban watershed nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) budgets. Household actions of lawn fertilization and pet ownership were responsible for the majority of watershed N and P inputs, respectively. N and P exhibited contrasting dynamics within watersheds. Watersheds exported most or all P inputs via stormwater runoff, likely contributing to surface water degradation.
Worldwide riverine thermal pollution patterns were investigated by combining mean annual heat rejection rates from power plants with once-through cooling systems with the global hydrological-water temperature model variable infiltration capacity (VIC)-RBM. The model simulates both streamflow and water temperature on 0.5° × 0.5° spatial resolution worldwide and by capturing their effect, identifies multiple thermal pollution hotspots.
CO2 emissions from inland waters are commonly determined by indirect methods that are based on the product of a gas transfer coefficient and the concentration gradient at the air water interface (e.g., wind-based gas transfer models). The measurements of concentration gradient are typically collected during the day in fair weather throughout the course of a year. Direct measurements of eddy covariance CO2 fluxes from a large inland water body (Ross Barnett reservoir, Mississippi, USA) show that CO2 effluxes at night are approximately 70% greater than those during the day.