Concentrations, loads, and sources of nitrate and total phosphorus were investigated at the Panjiakou and Daheiting Reservoir system in northern Hebei Province, People's Republic of China. The Luan He River is the primary source of water to these reservoirs, and the upstream watershed has a mix of land uses including agriculture, forest, and one large urban center. The reservoirs have a primary use for storage of drinking water and partially supply Tianjin City with its annual needs. Secondary uses include flood control and aqua culture (fish cages). The response of the reservoir system from phosphorus input, with respect to chlorophyll-a production from algae, was fitted to a model of normalized phosphorus loading that regresses the average summer-time chlorophyll-a concentration to the average annual phosphorus concentration of the reservoir. Comparison of the normalized phosphorus loading and chlorophyll-a response of this system to other reservoirs throughout the world indicate a level of eutrophication that will require up to an approximate 5-10-fold decrease in annual phosphorus load to bring the system to a more acceptable level of algal productivity. Isotopes of nitrogen and oxygen in dissolved nitrate were measured from the headwater streams and at various locations along the major rivers that provide the majority of water to these reservoirs. Those isotopic measurements indicate that the sources of nitrate change from natural background in the rivers to animal manure and septic waste upstream of the reservoir. Although the isotopic measurements suggest that animal and septic wastes are a primary source of nutrients, measurements of the molar ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus are more indicative of row-cropping practices. Options for reduction of nutrient loads include changing the management practices of the aqua culture, installation of new sewage treatment systems in the large urbanized area of the upper watershed, and agricultural management practices that would reduce the loading of nutrients and soil erosion from that land use.
Additional publication details
Eutrophication study at the Panjiakou-Daheiting Reservoir system, northern Hebei Province, People's Republic of China: Chlorophyll-a model and sources of phosphorus and nitrogen