Headwater ecosystems may have a limited threshold for retaining and removing nutrients delivered by certain types of land use. Nitrogen enrichment was studied in a Rocky Mountain watershed undergoing rapid expansion of population and residential development. Concentrations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen DIN in tributaries with residential development peaked during spring snowmelt as concentrations of DIN declined to below detection limits in undeveloped tributaries.
Annual export of dissolved organic nitrogen DON was considerably lower in residential streams, suggesting a change in forms of N with development. Results suggest that isotopic ratios in autotrophs can be used to detect and quantify increases in N enrichment associated with land use change. The biotic capacity of headwater ecosystems to assimilate increases in inorganic N from residential development may be insufficient to prevent nitrogen enrichment over considerable distances and multiple aquatic ecosystems downstream.
Volume 16 , Issue 1.
Explore this Watershed
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Land use change and nitrogen enrichment of a Rocky Mountain watershed.
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An update in January from the message control centre of the provincial government indicated that even if the final maps were not publicly available by spring, municipalities and. First Nations would be provided the most up to date information before spring runoff season begins — including inundation maps. Regardless of the complexity of this project, six years is an unacceptable amount of time to wait for updated information on public safety.
While we hold our breaths waiting for the maps, it is also important to point out that up until , no jurisdiction reported publicly on the snowpack levels and potential impacts to mountain creeks.
The Town of Canmore has taken on that responsibility, sharing creek flows and groundwater levels in relation to the. Bow River this time of year through its website.
It is great that leadership is being displayed at the local level, but is mountain creek hazard monitoring in the mountains really the responsibility of municipalities? But there is a water risk for us as residents of the valley we have yet to come to fully comprehend — the risk of continuing to use our water resources without considering the future of climate change. Our water conservation efforts locally will become more and more important into the future the less water there is in the Bow River for downstream users across Alberta and Saskatchewan. We should begin to understand what our future water use might look like now and to do that takes leadership.
Yet our newly elected provincial government is focused on its first act in the Legislature to repeal the Carbon Tax. With concerns around how everyday Albertans can afford to pay for pollution makes being cited by our new Premier Jason Kenney, we wonder if those same regular folks will appreciate abandoning efforts to deal with climate change when they suffering through repeated droughts or water shortages in the future. An update in January from the message control centre of the provincial government indicated that even if the final maps were not publicly available by spring, municipalities and First Nations would be provided the most up to date information before spring runoff season begins — including inundation maps.