UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

COVID-19 lockdown improved river water quality in China

Liu, D; Yang, H; Thompson, JR; Li, J; Loiselle, S; Duan, H; (2022) COVID-19 lockdown improved river water quality in China. Science of the Total Environment , 802 , Article 149585. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149585.

[thumbnail of COVID-19 lockdown improved river water quality in China.pdf] Text
COVID-19 lockdown improved river water quality in China.pdf - Accepted version
Access restricted to UCL open access staff until 12 August 2022.

Download (1MB)

Abstract

The impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns on air quality around the world have received wide attention. In comparison, assessments of the implications for water quality are relatively rare. As the first country impacted by COVID-19, China implemented local and national lockdowns that shut down industries and businesses between January and May 2020. Based on monthly field measurements (N = 1693) and daily automonitoring (N = 65), this study analyzed the influence of the COVID-19 lockdown on river water quality in China. The results showed significant improvements in river water quality during the lockdown period but out-of-step improvements for different indicators. Reductions in ammonia nitrogen (NH4+-N) began relatively soon after the lockdown; chemical oxygen demand (COD) and dissolved oxygen (DO) showed improvements beginning in late January/early February and mid-March, respectively, while increases in pH were more temporally concentrated in the period from mid-March to early May. Compared to April 2019, the Water Quality Index increased at 67.4% of the stations in April 2020, with 75.9% of increases being significant. Changes in water quality parameters also varied spatially for different sites and were mainly determined by the locations and levels of economic development. After the lifting of the lockdown in June, all water quality parameters returned to pre-COVID-19 lockdown conditions. Our results clearly demonstrate the impacts of human activities on water quality and the potential for reversing ecosystem degradation by better management of wastewater discharges to replicate the beneficial impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown. Capsule summary: River water quality improved during China's COVID-19 lockdown, but returned to normal conditions after the lockdown.

Type: Article
Title: COVID-19 lockdown improved river water quality in China
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149585
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149585
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: COVID-19, Lockdown, Water quality, Spatiotemporal variations, China
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134932
Downloads since deposit
1Download
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item