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Agricultural influence on the hydrogeochemistry of the sub‐basins of the Verde, Entre Ribeiros and Escuro Rivers of Paracatu Hydrographic Basin (MG) – Brazil

Maria Augusta Gonçalves Fujaco (Ouro Preto Federal University, Ouro Preto, Brazil)
Mariangela Garcia Praça Leite (Ouro Preto Federal University, Ouro Preto, Brazil)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 15 June 2010

274

Abstract

Purpose

Of the numerous hydrogeochemical river‐water transformations provoked by intense and irrational soil practices, heavy metal contamination by agrochemical usage is the most worrisome. Long‐term metal accumulation can be transported by rainwater, during storms, contaminating rivers. Data on this type of contamination are still scarce, principally in developing countries, such as Brazil. This paper aims to evaluate the influence of agricultural activities on the hydrogeochemistry of the Paracatu River's sub‐basins.

Design/methodology/approach

From a total of 77 points along three sub‐basins, water samples were taken for heavy metal and trace element analyses using spectrometry of atomic emission through plasma (ICP‐OES, Spectro Ciros CCD). The principal water‐quality parameters, such as pH, turbidity, conductivity, oxi‐reduction potential, total dissolved solids (TDS), temperature and dissolved oxygen were measured in situ.

Findings

By incorporating a small drainage area at the monitoring points, it was possible to perceive agriculture's influence (in the form of heavy metal contamination from fertilizers and pesticides) on the water courses.

Research limitations/implications

Although the research was carried out at a total of 77 points for water collection, data are from just one wet season, and need to be repeated.

Practical implications

The results demonstrate a need for monitoring the areas involved with agricultural activities, not only along the main river, but also along small streams that compose the Paracatu Basin.

Originality/value

There is no published literature on this subject regarding the three studied basins.

Keywords

Citation

Augusta Gonçalves Fujaco, M. and Garcia Praça Leite, M. (2010), "Agricultural influence on the hydrogeochemistry of the sub‐basins of the Verde, Entre Ribeiros and Escuro Rivers of Paracatu Hydrographic Basin (MG) – Brazil", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 505-522. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777831011049133

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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