Water Quality Assessment in the lower reaches of the Belize River
A baseline chemical assessment
Keywords:Physio-chemical, Lower Reaches, Natural Resource Management, Belize
Water is one of the most important natural resources known on earth. It is important to all living organisms, ecological systems, human health, food production and for economic development. Without its presence, life would not exist on this planet as it is required for the chemical reaction of photosynthesis and respiration to occur. As such, preserving the quality of water is very important to the environment. The present study tested the quality of the Lower Reaches of the Belize River; thirteen samples were selected spatially along the lower reaches of the Belize River and compared with previous data collected in 2013. Physio-chemical parameters were collected; temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and salinity data were collected using a calibrated YSI meter model Professional Series. Nitrates and phosphate were collected and analyzed using the cadmium reduction method, and the ascorbic acid method, respectively. Results showed that there were statistical differences within all physio-chemical parameters P-value (P < 0.05) between the 2013 and the present study. The difference between the two years may have been attributed to weather conditions and to the fact that the 2013 data was collected at the beginning of the rainy season. Therefore, the values obtained from the study are within acceptable limits as required by Belize’s Department of the Environment for surface water quality and that there were statistical differences between the data collected in 2013 to the present.