Abstract: Cameron Highlands is a mountainous area subjected
to torrential tropical showers. It extracts 5.8 million liters of water
per day for drinking supply from its rivers at several intake points.
The water quality of rivers in Cameron Highlands, however, has
deteriorated significantly due to land clearing for agriculture,
excessive usage of pesticides and fertilizers as well as construction
activities in rapidly developing urban areas. On the other hand, these
pollution sources known as non-point pollution sources are diverse
and hard to identify and therefore they are difficult to estimate.
Hence, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) was used to provide
an extensive approach to evaluate landuse and other mapping
characteristics to explain the spatial distribution of non-point sources
of contamination in Cameron Highlands. The method to assess
pollution sources has been developed by using Cameron Highlands
Master Plan (2006-2010) for integrating GIS, databases, as well as
pollution loads in the area of study. The results show highest annual
runoff is created by forest, 3.56 × 108 m3/yr followed by urban
development, 1.46 × 108 m3/yr. Furthermore, urban development
causes highest BOD load (1.31 × 106 kgBOD/yr) while agricultural
activities and forest contribute the highest annual loads for
phosphorus (6.91 × 104 kgP/yr) and nitrogen (2.50 × 105 kgN/yr),
respectively. Therefore, best management practices (BMPs) are
suggested to be applied to reduce pollution level in the area.