Dianneke van Wijk

Dianneke van Wijk

PhD Student


Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands


During my PhD project at NIOO-KNAW and Wageningen University I will explore the potential of the new concept of Smart Nutrient Retention Networks to improve water quality and sustainable nutrient use.


The underlying societal problem that I aim to address in this project is that nutrients end up in surface waters, where they cause water quality problems (e.g. harmful algal blooms) and eventually are lost into the ocean where they become unavailable to humanity. The idea is that positive feedback mechanisms between water plants and nutrient retention in individual waterbodies can affect water quality of larger hydrological networks. In my project, I will develop a model to test and demonstrate smart management strategies to retain and recycle nutrients locally, whilst improving water quality at a larger scale.




Belangrijkste publicaties

Inland Waters

Smart Nutrient Retention Networks: a novel approach for nutrient conservation through water quality management

van Wijk, Teurlincx, Brederveld, de Klein, Janssen, Kramer, van Gerven, Kroeze & Mooij
Nutrients are essential resources for food production but are used inefficiently, and thereby they pollute inland and coastal waters and are lost into the oceans. Nutrient conservation by retention and consecutive reuse would prevent nutrient losses to the atmosphere and downstream ecosystems. We present Smart Nutrient Retention Networks (SNRNs) as a novel management approach to achieve nutrient conservation across networks of connected waterbodies through strategic water quality management. To present the key features of SNRNs, we review existing knowledge of nutrient retention processes in inland waters, water quality management options for nutrient conservation, and nutrient retention models to develop SNRNs. We argue that successful nutrient conservation, even at a local level, through SNRN management strategies requires clearly formulated goals and catchment-wide system understanding. Waterbody characteristics, such as hydraulic residence time and the presence of macrophytes, shape local nutrient retention with potential network-wide cascading effects of improved water quality and are therefore key targets of SNRN management strategies. Nutrient retention models that include the self-reinforcing feedback loop of ecological water quality, nutrient retention, and nutrient loading in networks of inland waters in relation to management options can support the development of SNRNs. We conclude that SNRNs can contribute to sustainable use of nutrients in human food production.