water quality


The Environmental Quality Board recognizes that water pollution is detrimental to public health and welfare, creates public nuisances, is harmful to wildlife, fish and other aquatic life, and impairs domestic, agricultural, industrial, recreational and other beneficial uses of water. It is the goal of this Board, and this Regulation, to preserve, maintain and enhance the quality of the waters of Puerto Rico in such manner that they be compatible with the social and economic needs of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The purposes of this Regulation are to: (1) designate the uses for which the quality of the waters of Puerto Rico shall be maintained and protected, (2) prescribe the water quality standards required to sustain the designated uses, (3) identify other rules and regulations applicable to sources of pollution that may affect the quality of waters subject to this Regulation and (4) prescribe additional measures necessary for implementing, achieving and maintaining the prescribed water quality. This Regulation is enacted in accordance with Law No. 9 approved on June 18, 1970, as amended known as the Public Policy Environmental Act, and nullifies any previous provision, resolution, agreement or regulation of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on the same subject which may contradict this Regulation.

Urban influences on the nitrogen cycle in Puerto Rico

Ortiz-Zayas, J. R., E. Cuevas, O. L. Mayol-Bracero, L.
Donoso, I. Trebs, D. Figueroa-Nieves, and W. H. Mcdowell.
2006. Urban influences on the nitrogen cycle in Puerto Rico.
Biogeochemistry 79:109–133.

Anthropogenic actions are altering fluxes of nitrogen (N) in the biosphere at unprecedented rates. Efforts to study these impacts have concentrated in the Northern hemisphere, where experimental data are available. In tropical developing countries, however, experimental studies are lacking. This paper summarizes available data and assesses the impacts of human activities on N fluxes in Puerto Rico, a densely populated Caribbean island that has experienced drastic landscape transformations over the last century associated with rapid socioeconomic changes. N yield calculations conducted in several watersheds of different anthropogenic influences revealed that disturbed watersheds export more N per unit area than undisturbed forested watersheds. Export of N from urban watersheds ranged from 4.8 kg ha)1 year)1 in the Rı´o Bayamo´ n watershed to 32.9 kg ha)1 year)1 in the highly urbanized Rı´o Piedras watershed and 33.3 kg ha)1 year)1 in the rural-agricultural Rı´o Grande de An˜ asco watershed. Along with land use, mean annual runoff explained most of the variance in fluvial N yield. Wastewater generated in the San Juan Metropolitan Area receives primary treatment before it is discharged into the Atlantic Ocean. These discharges are N-rich and export large amounts of N to the ocean at a rate of about 140 kg ha)1 year)1. Data on wet deposition of inorganic N (NHþ4 þ NO 3 ) suggest that rates of atmospheric N deposition are increasing in the pristine forests of Puerto Rico. Stationary and mobile sources of NOx (NO+NO2) and N2O generated in the large urban centers may be responsible for this trend. Comprehensive measurements are required in Puerto Rico to quantitatively characterize the local N cycle. More research is required to assess rates of atmospheric N deposition, N fixation in natural and human-dominated landscapes, N-balance associated with food and feed trade, and denitrification.

A Model for Predicting Daily Peak Visitation and Implications for Recreation Management and Water Quality: Evidence from Two Rivers in Puerto Rico

Santiago LE, Gonzalez-Caban A, Loomis J (2008). “A model for
predicting daily peak visitation and implication for recreation
management and water quality: evidence from two rivers in Puerto
Rico”. Environ. Manage., 41: 904-914.

Visitor use surveys and water quality data indicates that high visitor use levels of two rivers in Puerto Rico does not appear to adversely affect several water quality parameters. Optimum visitor use to maximize visitor defined satisfaction is a more constraining limit on visitor use than water quality. Our multiple regression analysis suggests that visitor use of about 150 visitors per day yields the highest level of visitor reported satisfaction, a level that does not appear to affect turbidity of the river. This high level of visitor use may be related to the gregarious nature of Puerto Ricans and their tolerance for crowding on this densely populated island. The daily peak visitation model indicates that regulating the number of parking spaces may be the most effective way to keep visitor use within the social carrying capacity.


Multivariate analysis of water quality and physical
characteristics of selected watersheds in Puerto Rico.
Journal of the American Water Resources Association 39:

Multivariate analyses were used to develop equations that could predict certain water quality (WQ) conditions for unmonitored watersheds in Puerto Rico based on their physical characteristics. Long term WQ data were used to represent the WQ of 15 watersheds in Puerto Rico. A factor analysis (FA) was performed to reduce the number of chemical constituents. Cluster analysis (CA) was used to group watersheds with similar WQ characteristics. Finally, a discriminant analysis (DA) was performed to relate the WQ clusters to different physical parameters and generate predicting equations. The FA identified six factors (77 percent of variation explained): nutrients, dissolved ions, sodium and chloride, silicacious geology, redox conditions, and discharge. From the FA, specific conductance, sodium, phosphorous, silica, and dissolved oxygen were selected to represent the WQ characteristics in the CA. The CA determined five groups of watersheds (forested, urban polluted, mixed urban/rural, forested plutonic, and limestone) with similar WQ properties. From the five WQ clusters, two categories can be observed: forested and urban watersheds. The DA found that changes in forest cover, percent of limestone, mean annual rainfall, and watershed shape factor were the most important physical features affecting the WQ of watersheds in Puerto Rico.
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