The preservation of water bodies from eutrophication implies accurate estimation of phosphorus and nitrogen loads and the control of nutrient production on a catchment scale. In this paper, a simple tool for the modelling of annual nutrient loads is presented. It is implemented in ARC/INFO GIS using Arc Macro Language (AML). The use of a GIS is justified as the spatial characteristics of the catchment area (land use, industrial wastewater location) dictate water quality. The annual nutrient loads are worked out on the catchment scale, using existing GIS routines together with specific routines developed in AML for hydrological and water quality modelling purposes. The catchment area is divided into hydrological subcatchments with relatively homogeneous spatial characteristics. Each subcatchment is linked to a specific nutrient export potential. These nutrient loads, calculated on a subcatchment-by-subcatchment basis, are conveyed to the outlet of the catchment and allow annual nutrient load estimation. A comparison with a water monitoring study is conducted to verify the adequation of modelling results for phosphorus and nitrogen loads.

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