Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp 10014–10028 | Cite as

Identifying external nutrient reduction requirements and potential in the hypereutrophic Lake Taihu Basin, China

  • Jiao-Ting Peng
  • Xiao-Dong Zhu
  • Xiang Sun
  • Xiao-Wei Song
Research Article


Reducing external nutrient loads is the first step for controlling eutrophication. Here, we identified external nutrient reduction requirements and potential of strategies for achieving reductions to remediate a eutrophic water body, Lake Taihu, China. A mass balance approach based on the entire lake was used to identify nutrient reduction requirements; an empirical export coefficient approach was introduced to estimate the nutrient reduction potential of the overall program on integrated regulation of Taihu Lake Basin (hereafter referred to as the “Guideline”). Reduction requirements included external total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) loads, which should be reduced by 41–55 and 25–50%, respectively, to prevent nutrient accumulation in Lake Taihu and to meet the planned water quality targets. In 2010, which is the most seriously polluted calendar year during the 2008–2014 period, the nutrient reduction requirements were estimated to be 36,819 tons of N and 2442 tons of P, and the potential nutrient reduction strategies would reduce approximately 25,821 tons of N and 3024 tons of P. Since there is a net N remaining in the reduction requirements, it should be the focus and deserves more attention in identifying external nutrient reduction strategies. Moreover, abatement measures outlined in the Guideline with high P reduction potential required large monetary investments. Achieving TP reduction requirement using the cost-effective strategy costs about 80.24 million USD. The design of nutrient reduction strategies should be enacted according to regional and sectoral differences and the cost-effectiveness of abatement measures.


Nutrient Reduction requirements Reduction potential Reduction cost Eutrophication An entire lake The overall program on integrated regulation of Taihu Lake Basin 



This study was supported by the Research Project of Taihu Lake Water Pollution Control of Jiangsu Province (TH2010301), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40976021) and the Project Sponsored by the Scientific Research Foundation of Guangxi University (XGZ150300). We would like to thank Xue Liu for her help in english writing and her scientific suggestions.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1250_MOESM1_ESM.docx (769 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 769 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, School of the EnvironmentNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Management ScienceGuizhou University of Finance and EconomicsGuiyangChina
  3. 3.School of Resources, Environment and MaterrialsGuangxi UniversityNanningChina

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