Perceptions of Communities on Possible Sources of Pollution and On-site Assessment of Some Water Quality Parameters of the Cagayan River, Cagayan Valley, Philippines
This study was primarily conducted to assess some physico-chemical characteristics of the Cagayan River such as pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, turbidity, and salinity. It also aimed to determine the possible sources and causes of pollution of the river as perceived by the communities residing in its vicinity. Perceptions of the communities living near the riverbanks on the degree and sources of pollution of the river were obtained through interviews. Results showed that the degree of pollution of the Cagayan River is influenced by the types of its uses which include fishing, bathing, washing, and navigation. In addition, changes in terms of color, clarity, odor, number, and size of fish catch, size of the river and depth have been noted by the respondents as compared to the state of the river ten years ago. The major sources of pollution as perceived by the communities are agricultural and domestic sources. They also perceived that the possible causes of pollution include dumping of solid wastes, use of detergents in washing clothes in the river, agricultural practices such as the use of pesticides and inorganic fertilizers, surface run-off, and presence of residences near the riverbanks. On-site measurements were conducted in eight (8) municipalities in the province of Isabela traversed by the Cagayan River, namely Cabagan, Santo Tomas, Ilagan, Gamu, Naguilian, Reina Mercedes, Tumauini, and Delfin Albano. The values obtained in the water quality assessment revealed that the Cagayan River is still safe for domestic, agricultural, recreational, and other uses and is still habitable for freshwater organisms.
Keywords: physico-chemical characteristics, water quality assessment, Cagayan River
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