This research investigated the source and fate of different chemical species of N and P on a deep tropical urban reservoir, the artificial Lake Paranoá, located in the city of Brasilia (Brazil). To determine an N and P budget, nutrient input from the external load (four main tributaries and two wastewater treatment plants), internal load (from sediment) and nutrient output (from a downstream dam) were estimated empirically. Nutrient storage was evaluated in two compartments: water column and sediment. Nutrient input from the tributaries varied by season presenting higher loads in the wet season, especially N. Nutrient budgets in our study indicated that Lake Paranoá retained dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), PO43−
-P, total organic phosphorus (TOP) and exported total organic nitrogen (TON), both on a seasonal and annual scale. Surface sediment is the major storage compartment for both N and P. These results show the pressing need for action to reduce the P outcome charges, mainly, from the wastewater treatment plants. The data here presented contributes to the recognition of this situation and to a better comprehension of these nutrient dynamics, as well as an understanding of the behavior of tropical deep-water reservoirs. This can help to promote more effective management, providing a reference for other similar systems.
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