Human Impacts on Stream Hydrology and Water Quality

K. Van Meter, S. E. Thompson, N. B. Basu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


More than 99% of streams and rivers are considered to be impacted by human activity. Such activity includes the conversion of land for intensive agriculture, the fast expansion of urban areas, and the growing use of fertilizers, pesticides, and other contaminants. With these changes, we have seen a pervasive homogenization of landscapes, leading to a decrease in the natural variability of stream behavior and putting both river ecosystem ecology and human settlements at risk. In addition, years of human activity have led to the development of physical and biogeochemical legacies that may have long-lasting impacts on water quality and stream behavior. Despite a growing commitment to stream restoration, some speculate that both the intensity of human impacts and the development of long-term legacies within watersheds have produced regime shifts that may make a return to a previous nonimpaired state nearly impossible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStream Ecosystems in a Changing Environment
Number of pages50
ISBN (Print)9780124058903
StatePublished - Jul 21 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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