Recent Published Articles

Nutrient transport following water transfer through the world's largest water diversion channel

Wei Yin , Yuanhui Cheng , Hong Zhang


Received November 09, 2022,Revised , Accepted January 30, 2023, Available online February 15, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 703-714

Nutrient levels in the artificial channel constructed for the Middle Route Project are significant indicators of water quality safety and aquatic ecological integrity for this large, inter-basin scheme. However, the distribution and transport of nutrients along the channel were poorly understood. Based on a time-series dataset as well as mass balance and material flow analysis methods, the water and nutrient transport fluxes in the Middle Route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project were identified in this study. The results indicate that the nutrient concentrations varied considerably with time, but there was no significant difference among the 30 stations of the main channel. Seasonal temperature difference was the major factor in the large fluctuations of water quality indicators over time. The nutrient loadings varied with the water volume outputs from the main channel to the water-receiving cities. Atmospheric deposition was an important source of nutrients in the main channel, accounting for 9.13%, 20.6%, and 0.635% of the nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur input from the Danjiangkou Reservoir, respectively. In 2021, a net accumulation of 988 tons of N, 29 tons of P, and 2,540 tons of S, respectively, were present in the main channel. The increase of these external and internal nutrient loadings would cause water quality fluctuation and deterioration in some local sections of the main channel. Our study quantified the spatial and temporal patterns of nutrient transport in the Middle Route and revealed the ecological effects on the aquatic environment, assisting authorities on the project to develop effective water conservation strategies.

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