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Integrating sediment and nutrient risk in catchments

Magda Bieroza , Lancaster University

Lancaster University is developing further and integrating the risks from fine sediment, phosphorus and nitrogen losses from catchments using the SCIMAP approach pioneered by Durham and Lancaster Universities. We aim to develop a risk-based catchment screening tool to locate the nutrient pollution hot-spots within the catchments: locations that produce increased risk of nutrient generation and are hydrologically connected to the drainage network. The approach is a fully data-driven conceptual framework based on topography-driven distribution of surface and subsurface flow paths and land use and soil type data-driven definition of nutrient availability. In light of climate change and associated changes in spatial patterns of land use and land management, this approach can be useful in targeting the most risky land uses and introducing appropriate mitigation measures i.e. land use shifts to less risky activities in the locations that are hydrologically connected and thus impose a great effect on stream water quality. The outcomes from this research will provide evidence and form recommendations for the decision-makers and stakeholders that can help to facilitate adequate mitigation measures in catchments to deliver WFD targets.