A social-ecological perspective on nutrient management in surface water networks.

Project: PhD

Project Details


Aquatic ecosystems provide vital ecosystem services. However, due to anthropogenic pressures these ecosystem services have become threatened. One of the major and consistent threats to aquatic ecosystems worldwide is eutrophication. While long since recognized, measures taken to alleviate this threat have proven insufficient to meet water quality standards and targets. Choosing optimal placement and types of measures aimed at improving water quality is complex, especially in highly connected water systems. Making an appropriate selection becomes even more complex when, besides impact on water quality, measures are weighted according to their impact on society (e.g. swimming, low financial costs). Spatially explicit water quality models have shown to be of assistance in this type of decision making. However, to date these models largely ignore ecological processes. As ecological processes are an important part of the water quality status of a water body, spatially explicit ecological models are needed to understand and facilitate water quality and ecosystem management. In this way we can safeguard the ecosystem services of our freshwater systems. The objective of this study is finding smart and sustainable ways to use the connectedness of freshwater systems in designing effective measure implementations that make water systems clear again, while retaining as much of the nutrients in the system. This will ultimately lead to the design and development of Smart Nutrient Retention Networks (SNRNs). This project is strongly rooted in practical water management, with local and regional water professionals and scientists working together towards aquatic ecosystem improvement of the Dutch waterscape.
Effective start/end date1/10/19 → …


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