Water Quality

Changes in the water temperature of lakes and rivers have consequences for freshwater quality (Bates and Kundzewicz, 2008). Increased temperatures generally have a negative impact on water quality, typically by stimulating growth of nuisance algae. Changes in heavy precipitation, runoff, and stream flow can impact a diverse set of water quality variables (Kundzewicz et al., 2007). Water quality will also be negatively affected by saline intrusion into coastal aquifers as sea levels rise (Kundzewicz et al., 2009; Alley et al., 1999; see also Chapter 7). In general, however, the water quality implications of climate change are less well understood than its impacts on water supply.

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