Four forest reserves within 50 km of Kampala in Uganda act as a critical buffer to the Lake Victoria watershed and habitat for local populations. Over a 9-month period we capture a pioneering water quality data set that illustrates ecosystem health through the implementation of a water quality index (WQI). The WQI was calculated using field and laboratory data that reflect measured physical and chemical parameters (pH, dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen on demand, nitrates, phosphates, fecal coliform, and temperature turbidity). Overall, the WQI for the four forest reserves reflect poor to medium water quality. Results compared with US Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization drinking water standards indicate varying levels of contamination at most sites and all designated drinking water sources, with signatures of elevated nitrates, phosphates, and/or fecal coliforms. As critical health problems are known to arise with elevated exposure to contaminants in drinking water, this data set can be used to communicate necessary improvements within the watershed.
- fecal coliform
- Lake Victoria watershed
- water quality
- First received 5 January 2015.
- Accepted in revised form 3 March 2015.
- © IWA Publishing 2015