Water Quality in Six Lakes in Lake County, Illinois based on Land Use and Lake Origin
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Water is one of the most important resources on earth, but the quality of our world’s water is deteriorating rapidly. Land use has tremendous negative effects on the quality of our water. Land use can increase sedimentation, and add excessive amounts of nutrients leading to an algae choked lake. However, lake origin may have even greater impacts on water quality because humans are creating their own lakes, which may impact the chemical balance of the lake. Six lakes in Lake County, IL were chosen with three different types of lake origins (glacial lakes, borrow pits, and impoundments) and two categories of land use (developed and undeveloped) were measured for water quality. Lakes in developed watersheds were expected to have poor water quality compared to lakes in undeveloped watersheds and glacial lakes were expected to have better water quality compared to man-made lakes. Contrary to my hypothesis, lake origin had a greater significance to water quality when compared to land use. This was indicated by the significance of lake origin in five of out six water quality parameters. Also glacial lakes did not have better water quality compared to man-made lakes. These outcomes could be explained by differences in the watershed between different lakes.
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