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Adaptation measured based on smart nutrient management at the catchment scale for future-proof water quality

  • 1 October, 2021
  • Wageningen University, Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
  • dr ir MFLLW Lürling
  • dr ir JJM de Kleindr L de Senerpont Domis

The project is part of the InventWater Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN), which is a platform providing cutting edge cross disciplinary education of tomorrow’s water experts. InventWater focuses on water quality forecasting to support water managers and policy-makers to design interventions and actions that prevent further water quality deterioration and promote rehabilitation under the new climate conditions.

This specific project in the ITN focuses on nutrient pollution.

Nutrient pollution is by far the most widespread water quality issue in many water systems such as reservoirs, lakes and rivers worldwide. Climate change is further influencing water quality through altered precipitation patterns and warmer temperatures that stimulate harmful cyanobacteria blooms.

This project aims to develop an integrated modelling tool to assess expected nutrient flows from land to water systems, to determine its impacts on water quality and to provide management decisions for mitigation. The PhD candidate will focus on quantifying nutrient flows from the catchment into the Rappbode Dam reservoir in Germany.

Modelling tools will be developed to determine the critical nutrient loads in the selected reservoir. Scenario analyses with various combinations of measures will be run to evaluate the most promising set of interventions.

The combined MARINA/PCLake modelling builds on experiences gained for several lakes and reservoirs in China and Africa, and this project will further integrate these existing models for future analysis of water systems under changing pressures and will provide a tool for water managers to evaluate nutrient stress in combination with predicted climate change, as well as a tool to evaluate what the most promising interventions will be.

Expected results:
1. Integration of existing modelling approaches (MARINA – catchment nutrient flows) into a lake ecosystem model (PCLake – ecosystem functioning) for effective nutrient pollution management.
2. Insight in the impacts of future climate change and potential adaptation measures on water quality in a selected river/reservoir/lake basin, the Dnieper system in Ukraine or another study case.
3. Providing insights in most promising adaptation strategies to reduce future nutrient driven water quality issues in different sectors.
4. Yielding insight into the advantages of mitigating impacts using various scenario analyses, spanning from sustainable nature-based solutions to repeated in-situ Interventions.


Floran Clopin

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