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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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The Bonaparte River, located in British Columbia's southern interior, is a main tributary to the Thompson River (Figure 1). River water quality is important for uses such as drinking water, recreation, irrigation, and livestock watering, as well as for aquatic life and wildlife. Water quality is affected by ranching and agriculture, two sewage treatment plants, two landfill sites, urbanisation and forestry. Previous studies on this river have observed high levels of fecal coliforms, suspended solids, turbidity and algae.

In this report, 10 years of data (1985-1995), obtained under the Canada - B.C. Water Quality Monitoring Agreement, were assessed for trends and concerns in water quality. Monitoring was carried out monthly at the mouth of the river from 1985 - 1995 for 47 variables. These variables were graphed, and then compared to Approved and Working Criteria for Water Quality (Nagpal et al., 1995) and to site-specific objectives set by the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. Related sites within this watershed include: Thompson River at Spences Bridge, South Thompson River at Kamloops, and North Thompson River at Kamloops.

The main conclusions of this study are:

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