Land Use Patterns in Relation to Lake Water Quality in the Great Pond Watershed

Problems in Environmental Science course (Biology 493), Colby College

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Historically Great Pond has not suffered from algal blooms like neighboring East Pond which experiences seasonal algal blooms because of high nutrient levels (BI493, 1991). However, if human activity is not monitored and development carefully controlled, the nutrient cycle of Great Pond could be accelerated resulting in algal blooms, poor water quality and fish kills.

The main purpose of this study is to assess the current land use patterns and their influences on the water quality of Great Pond, including the biotic and abiotic parameters which are involved. More specifically, four main objectives were established. First, was to calculate the water budget and flushing rate for Great Pond. Second, was to determine the influence of current and historical land use patterns on lake water quality. Third, was to utilize gathered information to construct a phosphorus model, which will enable future water quality predictions to be made. Our fourth and final objective was to make recommendations to the Great Pond Lake Association, and the towns of Belgrade, Mercer, Oakland, Rome, and Smithfield based on our findings.