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Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33447973


A significant contributor to water pollution is increased nutrient concentration that results in eutrophication. Modeling approaches are crucial to understanding the dynamics of nutrients in river basins. This study integrates empirical models into Geographic Information Systems to quantify total nitrogen and phosphorus (TN and TP) load and concentration in watercourses of Brazil's Lobo Stream Hydrographic Basin (LSHB). Land use, topographic, demographic, and hydrological data were used to simulate the load and concentration of nutrients generated by point and nonpoint pollution sources. The results indicate that the simulated TN and TP load is primarily generated by nonpoint sources, 81% and 76%, respectively. The Itaqueri River subbasin is the most critical, yielding more than half of the basin's TN and TP load. About 90% of annual LSHB point pollution load is generated in the Itaqueri River subbasin, principally from the Água Branca Stream. The linear regression between simulated and observed concentration indicates significant relationships (TN, r2 = 0.73 (p < 0.05), TP, r2 = 0.78 (p < 0.05)). The method used was able to simulate TN and TP concentration in watercourses, but was inconsistent for point pollution, indicating it represents the dynamics of nutrients in rural basins more effectively than in urban ones. The study shows that its methodology, despite limitations, enables scientists and managers to understand and predict spatial distribution of nutrient concentration in LSHB watercourses.