Progress: HKH Screening Method

A field based capacity building workshop on Rapid Field Bio-assessment Method for River Water Quality Mapping was held jointly by Prof. Dr. Otto Moog (BOKU/Vienna, project coordinator of ASSESS-HKH) and Kathmandu University in Kathmandu from March 4 to 7, 2007. Ten participants from the partner countries of ASSESS-HKH namely, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan attended the workshop. The objective of the field based workshop was to train the participants for river water quality mapping using Rapid Field Bio-assessment method and apply the method to prepare water quality maps of the selected rivers in their respective countries.

During the workshop field sampling of macroinvertebrates, identification of sensory features, oxygen reduction of the sediments, algal cover and occurrence of sewage bacteria and fungi a classification of water quality class and mapping of river water quality using Rapid Field Bio-assessment Protocol was conducted.

A one hundred meter stretch that is typical for the river should be selected for study. If a river to be investigated is new for a researcher, it is recommended to check a river section of about 500m for selecting a representative investigation site. Sampling should start from the most downstream point of the investigated section to avoid a self made turbidity which would hamper the sampling. During sampling it should be noted that nobody enters the river before sampling or above the sampling team. Basically the sampling follows the multi habitat approach. But about ten sampling units would suffice the purpose for river quality mapping. More samples can be taken if there are still some targeted organisms missing. On the other hand a smaller number of sampling units can be taken in the case of heavy deteriorated rivers with a poor fauna.

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