The aim of the paper was to study the spatial effects of gas flaring on rainwater quality in Bayelsa State, Eastern Niger-Delta, Nigeria. The physicochemical variables were isolated from the analysis of rainwater samples from eight locations in the State, while mean monthly rainfall data for 2011 of the selected areas was collected from the Port Harcourt International Airport which has a distance of 15 km to the farthest location and 6 km to the nearest location. The analysis of physicochemical elements was variously done using the relevant methods. The result shows that all the eight physicochemical elements have values above the World health Organisation (WHO) 2004 maximum allowable concentration level, but in varying degrees with NO3- achieving the highest. Pearson’s product moment correlation was employed to establish relationship between the eight variables and the quantity of gas flaring in the area, then principal component analysis (PCA) was utilized to collapse the eight variables into significant and orthogonal components. After these two analyses, the principal component regression (PCR) analysis was used to calculate the relative contributions of the physicochemical variables with NO3 contributing the highest of 38.44% to poor quality of rain water in the area, while temperature contributed the least of 0.19%. After the PCR calculation of the entire State, it was further performed in individual locations. Result showed that all local government areas in South-West zone of the State have high rate of nitric acid accumulation in rainwater sample with those in the central zone having average rate of accumulation, while those in north-western zone exhibiting a low rate. Conclusions were drawn from the result while the major recommendation was on the need to develop a home grown gas flaring policy option that will address the problem.
Key words: Eastern, Delta, analysis, elements, rainfall.
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