To improve the water quality and alleviate the eutrophication of Lake Yangchenghu, the third largest freshwater body within the Lake Taihu basin in China and an important source of drinking water, nutrient reduction strategies should be urgently addressed by decision makers, since virtually no improvement of water quality has taken place since the mid-1990s. Due to the lack of sufficient observation data and simulation results, a vertically compressed three-dimensional numerical model, the EcoTaihu model, was used to study the impact of three restoration measures on the water quality—namely, total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP) and biomass of phytoplankton (BP)—of Lake Yangchenghu: (i) total nutrient reduction, (ii) intensification of flushing by water transfer, and (iii) spatial adjustment of inflow channels. In particular, the spatial effects of the three restoration measures on the water quality were investigated. The results showed that the EcoTaihu model is applicable to other shallow lakes in China. The water quality responses to the different restoration scenarios showed significant spatio-temporal differences. The reduction of nutrient loads from inflows appeared to be the most effective measure for controlling the eutrophication and algal blooms in Lake Yangchenghu. The effectiveness of water transfer on the improvement of water quality for TN and TP was more influenced by the differences of nutrient concentrations between the transferred water and lake water, rather than flow rate, since no proportionate increase of improvement was observable in the case of larger transferred rates (60 m3
). The spatial narrowing of inflowing rivers in the southwestern lake could preferentially improve the water quality in the southern bay of the western lake, but would also result in a deterioration trend of water quality in the total lake and drinking water abstraction areas.
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