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Water-quality data from long-term (24 years), fixed- station monitoring at the Cape Fear River at Lock 1 near Kelly, N.C., and various measures of basin development are correlated. Subbasin population, number of acres of cropland in the subbasin, number of people employed in manufacturing, and tons of fertilizer applied in the basin are considered as measures of basinwide development activity. Linear correlations show statistically significant posi- tive relations between both population and manufacturing activity and most of the dissolved constituents considered. Negative correlations were found between the acres of harvested cropland and most of the water-quality measures. The amount of fertilizer sold in the subbasin was not statistically related to the water-quality measures considered in this report. The statistical analysis was limited to several commonly used measures of water quality including specific conductance, pH, dissolved solids, several major dissolved ions, and a few nutrients. The major dissolved ions included in the analysis were calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, silica, bicarbonate, and fluoride. The nutrients included were dissolved nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen, dissolved ammonia nitrogen, total nitrogen, dissolved phosphates, and total phosphorus.
For the chemicals evaluated, manufacturing and population sources are more closely associated with water quality in the Cape Fear River at Lock 1 than are agricultural variables.