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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Analytical procedures for reducing uncertainty in the technological control of eutrophication Summers, Trevor J.


The management of aquatic resources by technological means generates a significant degree of uncertainty regarding a system's performance and its potential impact upon the natural environment. The central concern of this thesis is to illustrate the kinds of analyses that are required in order to identify and reduce the uncertainties associated with the technological control of water quality. Provided as background information is a general review of the seasonal dynamics of lakes, a statement of the concepts of natural and cultural eutrophication, an outline of the socio-economic costs associated with eutrophication, and a description of prominent remedial technologies. The specific situation examined herein is Deer Lake within the Municipality of Burnaby. The natural and cultural environments of Deer Lake are described in addition to the lake's morphology and indigenous biota. Specific water quality problems relevant to the intended cultural use of the lake (outdoor recreation) are, in turn, identified and discussed These include water temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, nutrient concentrations, and lake depth. As part of the analysis, the thesis proceeds to demonstrate the manner in which water quality problems may be conceptualized from the perspective of intended resource use, and how the articulation of these problems in the prescribed form facilitates the initial selection of technologies appropriate to the task. The illustrative analyses of three remedial technological options are then conducted with a view to illustrating how the deficiencies of knowledge and the problems of limited data may, to some extent, be overcome. This research concludes that the analytical procedures employed here serves to introduce a greater degree of objectivity to the process than might otherwise occur. In addition, such a structured approach provides for a more complete analysis of the problem with a greater degree of rigour in the results. Finally, recommendations for further research in this area are made with a view towards expanding the applicability of, and introducing greater rigour in the format employed.

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