Water quality evaluation of Tibagi river before the filling of Mauá HPP reservoir, using factor analysis

ABSTRACT Ecosystems affected by the formation of reservoirs are subjected to compulsory monitoring before, during and after the construction of the power plant. These monitoring programs generate large database that aim to satisfy environmental licensing conditions, as well as the management of water resources. In order to generate information that would facilitate the management of water resources, this study aimed to evaluate the quality of Tibagi river water located in Paraná State, Brazil, before the construction of the Mauá hydroelectric power plant (HPP). Data from four of the eight stations described in the Limnological Conditions Monitoring Program of the Tibagi river described in the HPP’s Basic Environmental Plan were analyzed. The selected data comprises the period between December 2009 and April 2012, before the HPP installation. In general, the retained factors demonstrated the anthropogenic influence on the water resources. Even with a small variation in the composition of the factor 1 in the monitored stations, this factor was especially characterized by the variables: total phosphorus, total solids, and fecal coliforms. The presence of fecal coliforms in the factor’s composition is a common indicator of pollution from untreated domestic sewage. The same applies to total phosphorus, which, as well as the total solids, can also be related to the inappropriate land use in the vicinity.