PhosWaM abbreviates "Phosphorus from source to sea - Integrated phosphorus and water resources management for sustainable water protection".
Phosphorus (P) is one of the essential nutrients for aquatic and terrestrial plants. While many aquatic ecosystems have a surplus of P, land used for agriculture is often phosphorus-deficient due to the extraction of biomass. As a result, farmers use phosphate as fertilizer on their land to promote plant growth. Additionally, industrial and sewage treatment plants release P-compounds into the environment. A large percentage of these compounds reaches the sea via rivers and estuaries. In aquatic environments, an over-abundance of nutrients (e.g. phosphorus) leads to the excessive growth of phytoplankton and other aquatic plants (eutrophication). This leads to turbid water, toxic algal blooms, oxygen deficiency and a loss of biodiversity. The goal in the joint project PhosWaM is to identify emission sources and to evolve effective measures to reduce the P-levels in aquatic environments. In this context, coupled marine physical biogeochemical simulations of the Baltic Sea were performed.
First, input pathways of P into the Warnow River and measures to reduced riverine P loads were assessed in PhosWaM. Second, scenario simulations of P inputs from the Warnow River into the Baltic Sea were performed. Finally, the contribution of the Warnow River to the P budget of the Bay of Mecklenburg was evaluated by marine biogeochemical model simulations. The results of these model simulations are published here.
The project PhosWaM (FKZ 033W042) is one of 15 joint research projects within the BMBF funding measure "Regional Water Resources Management for Sustainable Protection of Waters in Germany" (ReWaM). ReWaM is part of the BMBF funding priority "Sustainable Water Management" (Nachhaltiges Wassermanagement, NaWaM) in framework program "Research for Sustainable Development" (Forschung für Nachhaltige Entwicklung, FONA).