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Water Availability: An Overview of Issues and Future Challenges for the St. Lawrence River

Bibeault, J-F. et Hudon, C. (2006). Water Availability: An Overview of Issues and Future Challenges for the St. Lawrence River. Québec Studies , 42 . pp. 75-90.

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For some years now, water availability in the St. Lawrence River has been an inherent part of the larger issues threatening the integrity of its aquatic ecosystems. The St. Lawrence system (including the Great Lakes) is among the three largest in North America, alongside the Mackenzie and Mississippi rivers, in terms of basin size and flow rate. Located downstream of the international section (Kingston to Cornwall, Ontario), the Quebec portion of the St. Lawrence comprises four major bio-geographic units: the fluvial section, which is primarily influenced by Great Lakes inflows, the freshwater tidal portion of the fluvial estuary, the saltwater transition located in the upper estuary and the lower estuary, which widens up to become the Gulf of St. Lawrence (SLC 1996). Despite its large size, the St. Lawrence is subject to a range of anthropogenic pressures including variations in water availability, which reveal its vulnerability to hydrological and climatic factors. To fully appreciate the issues at stake in the fluvial section, we must first examine the context in which the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence was transformed. Specific aspects relating to fluvial integrity will then be described using the case of Lake St. Pierre, a designated Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO) and Ramsar site, as an example. Lastly, we will examine the current pressures on the ecosystem and future risks to water availability.

Type de document: Article scientifique
Statut du texte intégral: Autre
Mots-clés libres: Water Availability, Anthropogenic pressures, St. Lawrence River, Lake St. Pierre,
Sujets: 2. Milieu physique > 2.4. Hydrologie
8. Impacts et monitoring
8. Impacts et monitoring > 8.1. Qualité de l’eau
Date de dépôt: 01 juin 2016 14:01
Dernière modification: 01 juin 2016 14:01

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