Nutrient concentrations and fluxes in the upper catchment of the Miyun Reservoir, China, and potential nutrient reduction strategies
The Miyun Reservoir is Beijing's main drinking water source. Increased nutrient levels in the reservoir have resulted in an increased risk of harmful algal blooms. One hundred ten water samples were collected at a range of spatial scales in the upper catchment of the Miyun Reservoir and were analyzed for total nitrogen (TN), nitrate (NO3 (-)-N), ammonium (NH4 (+)-N), total phosphorus (TP), and the potassium permanganate index (CODMn). Empirical equations were developed from relationships between nutrient concentrations and the main controls on nutrient, and were used to identify parts of the catchment that should be targeted with nutrient load reduction measures. Cropland was the main source of sediment for the streams, and much of the phosphorus was associated with sediment. The annual mean TP concentrations were closely correlated with both the annual mean suspended sediment concentrations and the ratio of the cropland area to the total basin area. There was a linear relationship between the annual mean TN concentration and the population density in the basins. Soil conservation may play an important role in reducing TP concentrations in the upper reaches of the Chao and Bai Rivers. It may be useful to (1) construct natural riparian buffers and vegetated buffers along croplands close to the watercourses, (2) implement management strategies to reduce nitrogen (N) fertilizer applications, and (3) construct additional wetlands to reduce nutrient loads in the study area.