Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Water quality changes in the Elbe River basin, Czech Republic, in the context of the post-socialist economic transition

Jakub Langhammer
GeoJournal
Vol. 75, No. 2 (2010), pp. 185-198
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41148374
Page Count: 14
  • Download ($43.95)
  • Cite this Item
Water quality changes in the Elbe River basin, Czech Republic, in the context of the post-socialist economic transition
Preview not available

Abstract

This paper analyses the temporal dynamics and spatial trends in water quality changes in the Elbe River basin in the context of the post-socialist economic transition of the Czech Republic (Czechia). During the 1990s, the Czech portion of the Elbe River Basin underwent significant changes in the quality of surface waters. After a long period of massive discharges of pollution, which reached a peak at the end of the 1980s, a reduction in effluent from industrial and municipal sources led to a substantial decrease in the pollution of the Elbe River and its principal tributaries. The scope and speed of such water quality changes was unprecedented in Czechia as well as throughout Europe. The classification of the spatial distribution of water quality trends revealed that the majority of streams in the Czech Elbe River basin displayed improvement of surface water quality. However, the decrease in pollution levels was spatially concentrated mainly in the Elbe River and its main tributaries. Many of the peripheral streams are, on the contrary, experiencing deteriorating water quality, even in regions where water quality improved in the early 1990s because of a decline in local economic activity associated with political changes in the former Eastern Block countries. Further improvements in water quality are thus dependent on measures adopted across the entire river basin, including the numerous minor streams. The current economic revival in a number of regions where decreases in water pollution were not based on systematic pollution reduction measures, but only on the decline of industrial or agricultural production, may result in a return to deteriorating water quality, primarily in the outer regions of the catchment.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[185]
    [185]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
186
    186
  • Thumbnail: Page 
187
    187
  • Thumbnail: Page 
188
    188
  • Thumbnail: Page 
189
    189
  • Thumbnail: Page 
190
    190
  • Thumbnail: Page 
191
    191
  • Thumbnail: Page 
192
    192
  • Thumbnail: Page 
193
    193
  • Thumbnail: Page 
194
    194
  • Thumbnail: Page 
195
    195
  • Thumbnail: Page 
196
    196
  • Thumbnail: Page 
197
    197
  • Thumbnail: Page 
198
    198