Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2023-474
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2023-474
22 Jan 2024
 | 22 Jan 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Gridded dataset of nitrogen and phosphorus point sources from wastewater in Germany (1950–2019)

Fanny J. Sarrazin, Sabine Attinger, and Rohini Kumar

Abstract. Knowledge about the long history of the anthropogenic inputs of Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) is crucial to capture long-term N and P processes (legacies) and to investigate water quality and ecosystem health. These inputs include N and P point sources, that originate mainly from wastewater, and that are directly discharged into surface waters, thus having an immediate impact on ecosystem functioning. However, N and P point sources are challenging to estimate, due to the scarcity and uncertainty in observational data. Here, we contribute towards improved characterisation of N and P point sources from wastewater, by providing a long-term (1950–2019), high resolution (0.015625° 1.4 km on average) dataset for Germany. The dataset includes both the domestic and industrial emissions treated in wastewater treatment plants and untreated domestic emissions that are collected in the sewer system. We adopt a modelling approach that relies on a large range of data collected from different sources. Importantly, we account for the uncertainties arising from different modelling choices (i.e., coefficients and downscaling approach). We provide 200 gridded N and P point sources realisations, which are constrained and evaluated using available (recent) observations of wastewater treatment plants outgoing loads. We discuss the uncertainties in our reconstructed dataset over a large sample of river basins in Germany, and provide guidance for future uses. Overall, by capturing the long-term spatial and temporal variations in N and P point sources and accounting for uncertainties, our dataset can facilitate long-term and large-scale robust water quality studies. The dataset is available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10500535 (Sarrazin et al., 2024).

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Fanny J. Sarrazin, Sabine Attinger, and Rohini Kumar

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2023-474', Maryna Strokal, 12 Mar 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Fanny Sarrazin, 19 May 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2023-474', Olga Vigiak, 10 Apr 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Fanny Sarrazin, 19 May 2024
Fanny J. Sarrazin, Sabine Attinger, and Rohini Kumar

Data sets

Gridded dataset of nitrogen and phosphorus point sources from wastewater in Germany (1950-2019) Fanny J. Sarrazin, Sabine Attinger, and Rohini Kumar https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10500535

Model code and software

NP_point_sources_model: v1.0 Fanny J. Sarrazin and Rohini Kumar https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10501238

Fanny J. Sarrazin, Sabine Attinger, and Rohini Kumar

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Short summary
Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) contamination of water bodies is a long-term issue due to the long history of N and P inputs to the environment and their persistence. Here, we introduce a long-term and high-resolution dataset of N and P inputs from wastewater (point sources) for Germany combining data from different sources and conceptual understanding. We also account for uncertainties in modelling choices, thus facilitating robust long-term and large-scale water quality studies.
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