Emissions of pollutants and nutrients are causing several problems in aquatic ecosystems, and in general an excess of nutrients, specifically nitrogen and phosphorus, is responsible for the eutrophication process in water bodies. In most developed countries, more attention is given to diffuse pollution because problems with point pollution have already been solved. In many non-developed countries basic data for point and diffuse pollution are not available. The focus of the presented studies is to quantify nutrient emissions from point and diffuse sources in the Ipojuca river basin, Pernambuco State, Brazil, using the Moneris model (Modelling Nutrient Emissions in River Systems). This model has been developed in Germany and has already been implemented in more than 600 river basins. The model is mainly based on river flow, water quality and geographical information system data. According to the Moneris model results, untreated domestic sewage is the major source of nutrients in the Ipojuca river basin. The Moneris model has shown itself to be a useful tool that allows the identification and quantification of point and diffuse nutrient sources, thus enabling the adoption of measures to reduce them. The Moneris model, conducted for the first time in a tropical river basin with intermittent flow, can be used as a reference for implementation in other watersheds.

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