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Nitrogen and phosphorus in cascade multi-system tropical reservoirs: water and sediment

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The aim of this research was to analyze the horizontal spatial heterogeneity of both water and superficial sediment quality among and within the reservoirs of the Cantareira System (CS), focusing on concentrations of N and P, attributed to the dumping of raw domestic sewage into water bodies, which is the main cause of water pollution in São Paulo State (Brazil). The CS is a multi-system complex composed of five interconnected reservoirs, with water transported by gravity through 48 km of tunnels and channels. From the last reservoir of the CS, with an output of 33 m
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Limnol. Rev. (2017) 17, 3: 133–150
DOI 10.1515/limre-2017-0013
Nitrogen and phosphorus in cascade multi-system tropical
reservoirs: water and sediment
Marcelo Pompêo1*, Viviane Moschini-Carlos2, Julio Cesar López-Doval1, Natália Abdalla-Martins1,
SheilaCardoso-Silva2, Rogério Herlon Furtado Freire3, Frederico Guilherme de Souza Beghelli2,
AnaLúciaBrandimarte1, André Henrique Rosa2, Pilar López4
1São Paulo University (USP), Bioscience Institute, Department of Ecology, Rua do Matão 321 / Travessa 14, Cidade Universitária, CEP
05508-090, São Paulo, Brazil, e-mail: mpompeo@ib.usp.br (*corresponding author)
2São Paulo State University (UNESP), Department of Environmental Engineering, Avda. 3 de Março 511, Alto da Boa Vista, CEP 18087-
180, Sorocaba, Brazil
3São Paulo Virtual University (UNIVESP), Brazil
4Barcelona University, Department of Ecology, Avda. Diagonal 645, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Abstract: e aim of this research was to analyze the horizontal spatial heterogeneity of both water and supercial sediment quality among
and within the reservoirs of the Cantareira System (CS), focusing on concentrations of N and P, attributed to the dumping of raw domestic
sewage into water bodies, which is the main cause of water pollution in São Paulo State (Brazil). e CS is a multi-system complex composed
of ve interconnected reservoirs, with water transported by gravity through 48 km of tunnels and channels. From the last reservoir of the
CS, with an output of 33 m3 s–1, the water is conducted to a water treatment plant, producing half of the water consumed by 19 million
people inhabiting São Paulo city. e upstream reservoirs are more eutrophic than the downstream ones. Data also suggest that the low
phytoplankton biomass (ranging from 0.9 to 14.4 µg dm–3) is regulated by the low nutrient availability, mainly of phosphorus (TP ranging
from below the detection limit, <9.0 µg dm–3, to 47.3 µg dm–3). For water, the DIN/TP ratios values range from 19 to 380. e upstream
reservoirs function as nutrient accumulators and the sediment is the main compartment in which P and N are stored. Although the
reservoirs are located in dierent river basins and are not in sequence along the same river, the results suggest a marked gradient between
the reservoirs, with features similar to those of cascade reservoirs. e large volumes owing through the canals and tunnels could explain
the observed pattern. e CS reservoirs can therefore be considered multi-system reservoirs in cascade, constituting a particular case of
multi-system reservoirs.
Key words: cascade reservoir, sediment, water quality, nitrogen, phosphorus
Introduction
Water is an essential resource for ecosystems and
economic development. Increases in water demand, as
well as in water pollution in some countries, have led to
the construction of reservoirs to ensure water quality
and availability, especially in highly urbanized regions
(Lehner et al. 2011; Liu et al. 2016). In South America,
economic development is resulting in increased re-
quirements for water storage and energy production. In
order to meet these demands, a large number of reser-
voirs have been constructed in the region during the
20th and 21st centuries, providing recreational services
and playing an important role in economic develop-
ment (Tundisi et al. 1998).
Despite their benets, reservoirs alter both wa-
ter ows and the surrounding terrestrial and aquatic
ecosystems, requiring well-founded scientic and en-
gineering methodologies when constructing them
(Tundisi and Matsumura-Tundisi 2008, 2010). ere-
fore, it is important to understand the dynamics, struc-
ture, and functioning of reservoirs in order to model
new projects and to manage reservoirs currently in op-
eration. is is especially important in the case of inter-
connected reservoirs; such as cascade or multi-system
reservoirs (Barbosa et al. 1999).
e concept of cascade reservoirs refers to a set of
reservoirs constructed in sequence along the same riv-
er (Straškraba et al. 1993; Barbosa et al. 1999; Tundisi
and Matsumura-Tundisi 2008; Straškraba and Tundisi
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134 Marcelo Pompe
^o et al.
2013). Multiple reservoir systems are those that com-
prise a set of reservoirs located in dierent river sys-
tems, in dierent watersheds (Straškraba et al. 1993;
Straškraba and Tundisi 2013). In order to understand
the processes in one reservoir of a cascade or multiple
reservoir system, it is important to study all the reser-
voirs in the system, since eects on water quality and
quantity in the upstream reservoirs can signicantly af-
fect the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the
downstream reservoirs.
e largest urban and industrial complex in South
America is the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo
(MRSP), located in São Paulo State (Brazil) (Braga et
al. 2006). e MRSP has experienced dramatic and un-
planned growth in the last 50 years, and now includes
the city of São Paulo and a further 39 municipalities,
with a total population of around 21,000,000 inhabit-
ants and an area of 8,000 km2. e main land use in the
MRSP is for urban and industrial purposes (Ducrot et
al. 2005; Braga et al. 2006; SEADE 2015), and the reser-
voirs in this region are vital for water supply and energy
production (Tundisi et al. 1998; Ducrot et al. 2005). e
MRSP is supplied by dierent reservoirs, among which
are the reservoirs of the Cantareira System (Pereira
2013), the object of study in this research.
Despite their importance in providing multiple
benets to the population, the reservoirs in this re-
gion are oen severely impacted by human activities.
e most common eect is eutrophication, which is
a consequence of high nitrogen and phosphorus con-
centrations and can cause additional contamination.
For example, eutrophication can lead to the growth
of harmful algae, whose control requires the applica-
tion of hydrogen peroxide or copper sulfate, which
can result in contamination of the sediment by cop-
per (Cale 2000; CETESB 2008; Mariani and Pompêo
2008; Pompêo et al. 2013). Causal relationships have
been suggested between high levels of nutrients and
the presence of other pollutants in supercial waters
and sediments. ese include organic compounds and
emerging contaminants (Sodré et al. 2010; Bergamasco
et al. 2011; Santos et al. 2012; López-Doval et al. 2015),
as well as pharmaceutical products (Almeida and We-
ber 2005; Huerta et al. 2013). All these substances can
potentially be transferred to the water used for human
consumption (Jones et al. 2005; Sodré et al. 2010; Bar-
bosa et al. 2015). Although eutrophication is not a re-
cent problem (Margalef et al. 1976; Vallentyne 1978;
UNEP-IETC 2001), it is still persistent in Brazil and
elsewhere worldwide (Qin et al. 2013; Azevedo et al.
2015; Vidović et al. 2015), requiring constant attention
by researchers and environmental managers.
erefore, the aim of this research was to analyze the
horizontal spatial heterogeneity of water and supercial
sediment quality among and within the reservoirs of
the Cantareira System, focusing on the concentrations
of N and P. Excess of these elements is mainly attributed
to the dumping of raw domestic sewage in the water
bodies, which is the main cause of water pollution in
São Paulo State (CETESB 2013). e results will be used
to investigate whether the integrated operation of these
reservoirs may be based on the Cascade Reservoirs
Continuum Concept (CRCC) (Barbosa et al. 1999).
According to these authors, the presence of cascaded
reservoirs causes signicant changes in the original
continuum of a river, while the physical, chemical and
biological characteristics and the functioning of the
downstream reservoirs also cause physical, chemical
and biological changes in water quality. e upstream
reservoirs will also be veried in this work. us, based
on the CRCC, we expect the upstream reservoirs to be
more eutrophic than the downstream reservoirs.
Materials and Methods
Study area description
With an output of 33 m3 s–1, the Cantareira System
(CS) produces half the water consumed by the popula-
tion of the MRSP (Whately and Cunha 2007).
e rst stage of operation this System was complet-
ed in 1974, and today the CS consists of ve intercon-
nected reservoirs (Jaguari – JG, Jacarei – JC, Cachoeira
– CA, Atibainha – AT, and Paiva Castro – PC), with
transfer of water by gravity through 48 km of tunnels
and channels (Fig. 1). From the last reservoir, the Paiva
Castro, the water is conducted for treatment and is -
nally distributed to the MRSP (Gomes 2004; Carvalho
and omas 2007; Whately and Cunha 2007).
In the CS reservoirs, only small volumes of water
are discharged through the dams in order to maintain
the outows of the rivers. e main interconnection,
in terms of the volume transferred between the reser-
voirs, occurs through articially constructed channels
and tunnels (dashed lines in Fig. 1), allowing the trans-
fer of water by gravity from the upstream to the down-
stream reservoirs (Gomes 2004; Carvalho and omas
2007; Whately and Cunha 2007). Hence, the CS reser-
voirs do not t the classical denition of cascade res-
ervoirs (Straškraba et al. 1993; Barbosa et al. 1999),
but approach the denition of multi-system reservoirs
(Straškraba et al. 1993; Straškraba and Tundisi 2013).
In multiple reservoir systems, hydrochemical dier-
ences in the watershed areas can create specic prob-
lems concerning limnology and water quality in the dif-
ferent reservoirs that compose the system (Straškraba
and Tundisi 2013), since dierent geological forma-
tions can lead to specic chemical characteristics of
each individual reservoir. Furthermore, the use and
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135
Nitrogen and phosphorus in cascade multi-system tropical reservoirs: water and sediment
occupation of land in each watershed area are also im-
portant, because inputs from a variety of anthropogenic
activities modify the water and sediment quality of the
dierent reservoirs.
e watersheds of the CS have had more than half
of their areas altered by human activities (Whately and
Cunha 2007), characterized by high percentages of ur-
ban and other anthropic land uses. Natural vegetation
cover is usually low, and inadequate sanitation services
include low rates of collection and treatment of waste-
water from the municipalities of the CS (Whately and
Cunha 2007). In the MRSP, only 45% of the population
has access to sewage treatment facilities (Pompêo and
Moschini-Carlos 2012), while the untreated fraction
results in large pollutant inputs to the receiving water
bodies. All of these factors lead to a worrying scenario,
as already observed, for instance, in the basins of the
Billings and Guarapiranga reservoirs, also located in
the MRSP. For decades, both drainage basins of those
reservoirs have experienced substantial impacts that
are reected in the water and sediment quality, par-
ticularly due to eutrophication (Mariani and Pompêo
2008; Moschini-Carlos et al. 2009, 2010; Pompêo et al.
2013; Cardoso-Silva et al. 2014; Nishimura et al. 2014;
Pompêo, Kawamura et al. 2015).
Table 1 presents the hydrological information and
characteristics of the CS reservoirs, according to ANA-
Fig. 1. Location of the reservoirs that compose the Cantareira Wa-
ter Supply System (water ow channels between the reservoirs are
marked with dashed lines) and sampling stations location in the
Jaguari and Jacarei reservoirs (A), the Cachoeira Reservoir (B), the
Atibainha Reservoir (C), and the Paiva Castro Reservoir (D)
Fig. 2. Monthly-accumulated rainfall of the Cantareira System in
2013 (bars), and historical average of rainfall in the last 10 years (line)
Asterisk (*) means sampling months
Data from: http://www2.sabesp.com.br/mananciais/DivulgacaoSiteSabesp.
aspx
Table 1. Characteristics and hydrological information of the Cantareira System reservoirs
Characteristics Unit Jaguari** Jacarei** Jaguari / Jacarei Cachoeira Atibainha Paiva Castro
Average rainfall [mm] NA NA 1592 1763 1642 1593
Drainage area [km2] NA NA 1027 / 203 392 312 369
Live/useful storage [hm3] 96 713 808.12 69.75 95.26 7.61
Dead storage [hm3] 39 204 239.43 46.81 194.93 25.33
Maximum ooded area [km2] NA NA 49.91 8.6 21.8 4.6
Average ow [m3 s–1] NA NA 25.2 8.5 6.0 4.6
Quota [m] 844.0 844.0 844.0 821.88 786.72 745.61
Residence time (*) [days] NA NA 368.5 40.1 105.8 10.7
Data series for the period from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2012, according to National Water Agency (ANA 2013)
* Based on the average of the daily ows downstream of dams and through tunnels, using the input volumes in the corresponding upstream reservoir and the
daily volumes of each reservoir, ** Personal communication by Luiz Almada de Alencar Barros (10 June 2014), NA – not available
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136 Marcelo Pompe
^o et al.
DAEE (2013). From the point of view of the CS man-
agers, Jaguari and Jacareí are always treated as a single
reservoir. e Jaguari/Jacareí reservoirs have the long-
est residence time (RT), while the Paiva Castro has the
shortest. Based on historical averages for the region,
the months of May and June are considered a period of
low rainfall, comprising a dry season, while November
and December typically constitute a rainy period (Fig.
2). However, in November and December of 2013, the
rainfall was far below historical averages.
Sampling and analytical methods
Water and sediment were sampled at 19 sites in May
and June (rst sampling period) and in November and
December (second sampling period) of 2013 (Fig. 1,
Table 2). e selection of sampling sites took into ac-
count the three theoretical zones in reservoirs (riverine,
transitional, and lacustrine) (Kimmel et al. 1990) and
the zones of inlet and outlet of water through the re-
spective connecting channels (Fig. 1, Table 2).
At each site, three samples of the supercial sedi-
ment (0–4 cm depth) were collected using a Lenz type
grab sampler (225 cm2). An aliquot of each sample
was removed for the determination of nitrogen, de-
termined as total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) (APHA
2005), total phosphorus (Andersen 1976), and organic
matter (Meguro 2000 – furnace mue, 550°C, for 1–2
hours). e aliquots were stored in plastic bottles that
Table 2. Sampling site general characteristics, sample collection dates, and abbreviations used in the body text. For each site, the rst and
second coordinates correspond to the rst and second sampling periods, respectively
Reservoir Date Symbol Depth [m] Coordinates UTM-23K Description
Maximum Sampling X Y
Jaguari
(JG)
21 Jun 2013
11 Dec 2013
JG-R 14.4
14.0
5.0
5.0
0355748
0355751
7465315
7465297
Entrance of Jaguari river
JG-D 41.0
31.0
5.0
5.0
0354115
0354100
7463800
7463896
Dam
JG-E 32.0
29.7
5.0
5.0
0354190
0354060
7462807
7462875
Water outow for Jacareí reservoir
Jacareí
(JC)
21 Jun 2013
11 Dec 2013
JC-C 33.0
31.0
5.0
5.0
0355758
0353448
7458048
7459932
Central region
JC-R 7.2
3.5
3.0
2.0
0365259
0364386
7460887
7460017
Entrance of Jacareí river
JC-C7 15.4
14.0
5.0
5.0
0363398
0363446
7459240
7459097
Water outow for Cachoeira reservoir, through
channel 7
Cachoeira
(CA)
13 Jun 2013
28 Nov 2013
CA-R 6.0
7.9
3.0
3.0
0371005
0370729
7454767
7454793
Entrance of Cachoeira river
CA-C7 10.6
8.8
5.0
3.0
0367864
0368022
7454158
7454356
Water inlet from Jacarei reservoir
CA-C 22.5
12.6
5.0
5.0
0366627
0366860
7451824
7451874
Central region
CA-D 17.5
22.3
5.0
5.0
0365003
0365216
7450572
7450760
Dam
CA-C6 11.2
11.6
5.0
5.0
0365593
0365600
7448362
7448342
Water outow for Atibainha reservoir, through
channel 6
Atibainha
(AT)
26 Jun 2013
4 Dec 2013
AT-R 3.0
4.8
2.0
2.0
0368908
0368939
7443243
7443336
Entrance of Atibainha river
AT-C6 5.5
5.0
3.0
2.0
0368035
0368162
7442070
7442213
Water inlet from Cachoeira reservoir
AT-C22.0
19.5
5.0
5.0
0360222
0360818
7437283
7438236
Central region
AT-D 22.0
12.9
5.0
5.0
0357951
0357690
7436093
7436419
Dam
AT-C5 16.6
19.0
5.0
5.0
0358829
0359580
7432274
7432904
Water outow for Paiva Castro reservoir, through
channel 5
Paiva Castro
(PC)
29 May 2013
21 Nov 2013
PC-R 5.5
5.0
3.0
2.0
0335438
0335357
7419400
7419369
Juqueri river and water channel 5 entrance
PC-D 14.0
14.1
5.0
5.0
0329039
0329082
7418788
7418781
Dam
PC-C3 10.0
8.6
5.0
3.0
0329794
0329752
7416808
7416746
Arm that carries water to Santa Ines pumping
station
Coordinates measured with UTM WGS Datum 84
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137
Nitrogen and phosphorus in cascade multi-system tropical reservoirs: water and sediment
had been previously washed with hydrochloric acid
(10%, v/v).
Integrated surface water samples (INAG IP 2009)
were collected at each sampling site using a one-inch
diameter garden hose (Navarro et al. 2006; Becker et al.
2010), with modications. Garden hoses 5, 3, and 2 m
in length were used when the depths of the sampling
sites were greater than 10 m, between 10 and 5 m, and
less than 5 m, respectively (Table 2). e hose was re-
peatedly launched until a 5 liter volume of water had
been collected, which was stored in a plastic bottle and
kept inside a cool bag until transported to the labora-
tory. e water samples were ltered (AP40, Millipore)
within 24 hours aer sampling, prior to the determi-
nation of chlorophyll-a and phaeopigments (Lorenzen
1967), suspended materials (Wetzel and Likens 1991),
nitrate (Method 8192 Hach), nitrite (Mackereth et al.
1978), and ammonium (Korole 1976). e total phos-
phorus concentration was determined using unltered
samples (Valderrama 1981). Measurements of tempera-
ture, dissolved oxygen, percentage of dissolved oxygen
saturation, pH, and electrical conductivity were taken
throughout the vertical proles at all the sampling sta-
tions, using a multiparametric probe (U52, Horiba). e
maximum depth (Echotest II, Plastimo) and the water
column transparency (30 cm Secchi disk) were also de-
termined in situ. e euphotic zone was estimated ac-
cording to Cole (1979), by multiplying the Secchi disk
values by 2.7. e trophic state index (TSI) was calcu-
lated based on the arithmetic mean of the TSI obtained
from the concentration of total phosphorus in the water
and the TSI obtained from the concentration of chloro-
phyll-a, as described by Carlson (1977) and modied by
Lamparelli (2004), adapted to Brazilian reservoirs, using
the values for the integrated water column.
e data were analyzed by means of cluster analysis
(CA) and principal component analysis (PCA) in order
to identify the patterns of variation of the environmen-
tal data between the reservoirs and sampling points.
e environmental variables were normalized by the
ranging method (the ratio between the gross value less
the minimum value and the maximum value less the
minimum value of each variable) and were analyzed
with PAST 2.17c soware (Hammer et al. 2001). PCA
was carried out considering the variance between the
groups (reservoirs) that were dened a priori in the
analysis. e CA and PCA procedures were performed
using the values for DIN (dissolved inorganic nitrogen:
nitrate + nitrite + ammonium), transparency, suspend-
ed solids, organic and inorganic fractions (sediment
and water), total Kjeldahl nitrogen and total phospho-
rus in the sediment, and TSI.
Concentrations of total phosphorus and ammoni-
um in water below the detection limit of the methods
(9.0 µg dm–3 for total phosphorus and 18.0 µg dm–3 for
ammonium) were changed to half of these values for
use in the graphics and statistical analyses, as suggested
by Newman et al. (1989), Lewis et al. (2007), and DDE
(2012). We adopted this procedure in order to avoid
unnecessary loss of information.
Results and Discussion
Table 3 presents the range of variation of the vari-
ables analyzed in the sediment and water. Probe data
refer to the weighted average for the same depth of the
integrated samples. For the water, the electrical conduc-
tivity (EC) and trophic state index (TSI) presented the
lowest range of variation, while the dissolved nutrient
contents presented the highest variation. e inorganic
fraction of the sediment had the lowest range of varia-
tion (lower CV). When comparing the same variable
for water and sediment (total phosphorus or total ni-
trogen), the coecient of variation was higher for the
water (44–100%) than the sediment (20–25%), prob-
ably due to the greater dynamism of the water column,
compared to the sediment.
In Figures 3 and 4, the data presentation is organ-
ized following the water path through the system of
reservoirs, from the Jaguari river portion (JG-R) to the
water outlet channel to the Santa Ines pumping station
in the Paiva Castro reservoir (PC-C3), passing through
the Jacareí, Cachoeira, and Atibainha reservoirs. Some
of the variables showed a trend towards higher values
in the rst reservoirs of the CS (Jaguari and Jacareí).
is was particularly evident for DIN, nitrite, nitrate,
ammonium, total phosphorus (TP), chlorophyll-a, and
suspended solids (SS), especially in the second sam-
pling period (November/December 2013). e Secchi
disk (SD) data showed a trend towards higher values
in the downstream reservoirs, especially for the second
sampling period. e TSI presented a trend towards
higher values in the upstream reservoirs, with the Jag-
uari being most eutrophic (Fig. 3).
e sediment showed no clear pattern through the
reservoirs in terms of the total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN)
concentration (Fig. 5). However, a trend towards lower
concentrations of TP through the reservoirs was ob-
served, with the lowest values for the Paiva Castro res-
ervoir.
e data for the water column revealed statistically
signicant and positive linear regressions between chlo-
rophyll-a and the variables DIN, nitrite, nitrate, ammo-
nium, TP, and SS. Chlorophyll-a was negatively related
to SD (Fig. 6). ere were positive regressions between
DIN and TP, and negative ones between SS and SD.
e data suggested the separation of the reservoirs
into two major groups (Fig. 6). e rst group, consisting
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138 Marcelo Pompe
^o et al.
of the Jaguari and Jacareí reservoirs, was characterized by
high levels of DIN (nitrite + nitrate + ammonium) and
TP, which caused higher concentrations of chlorophyll-a
and SS, resulting in lower SD and higher TSI values. e
other major group consisted of the Cachoeira, Atibainha,
and Paiva Castro reservoirs, with lower levels of nutri-
ents (nitrogen and TP) and SS, and higher SD values.
e correlation coecients revealed no statistically
signicant dierences between the water and sediment
variables, except for a weak positive coecient for wa-
ter and sediment TP (Fig. 7). is suggested that the
P present in the water was stored in the sediment, in
agreement with the higher sediment P values for the
Jaguari and Jacareí reservoirs (Fig. 5).
e N and P concentrations in the water and sedi-
ment were lower than reported for other reservoirs,
especially eutrophic ones (Table 5). In water, the N/P
molar ratio (19 to 380) was higher than in the sediment
Table 3. Variables analyzed in the water and sediment of the Cantareira System reservoirs during two periods (May/June and November/
December 2013). Explanations: STD – standard deviation; CV – coecient of variation [%]; DIN – dissolved inorganic nitrogen (nitrite +
nitrate + ammonium)
Variable Unit Minimum Maximum Average STD CV
water
Maximum depth [m] 3.0 41.0 15.2 9.7 64.1
Temperature [°C] 18.5 25.9 21.8 2.7 12.2
Electrical conductivity (EC) [µS cm–1] 27.5 39.6 33.0 2.1 6.3
pH 5.7 8.5 6.8 0.7 10.4
Dissolved oxygen (DO) [mg dm–3] 5.8 12.2 8.2 1.6 19.5
DO saturation [%] 70.3 147.4 103.2 20.3 19.7
Nitrite [µg dm–3] 0.4 27.6 4.9 7.0 143.2
Nitrate [µg dm–3] 164.9 713.8 329.7 129.7 39.3
Ammonium [µg dm–3] 9.0* 177.9 27.5 32.8 119.4
DIN [µg dm–3] 179.4 900.1 362.1 159.7 44.1
Total phosphorus (TPw) [µg dm–3] 4.5* 47.3 8.5 9.4 109.9
Chlorophyll-a[µg dm–3] 0.9 14.1 3.5 3.7 108.0
Phaeophytin [µg dm–3] 0.6 8.9 3.2 1.9 60.9
Secchi disk (SD) [m] 0.5 4.3 2.3 0.9 41.7
Photic zone (**) [m] 1.35 11.6 6.2 2.6 41.7
Suspended solids (SS) [mg dm–3] 1.1 27.4 4.1 4.9 118.5
SSO – organic fraction [%] 19.3 100.0 60.0 21.8 36.3
SSI – inorganic fraction [%] 0.0 80.7 40.0 21.8 54.4
Trophic state index (TSI) 51 64 54 3.7 6.8
Trophic classication oligotrophy supereutrophy mesotrophy
DIN/TPw 19 380 138 68 49.6
sediment
Total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) [g TKN kg–1DW] 1.2 4.1 2.8 0.7 25.0
Total phosphorus (TPs) [mg P kg–1DW] 217.5 548.1 371.0 81.8 22.1
Organic fraction [%] 7.1 19.4 15.0 3.0 19.8
Inorganic fraction [%] 80.6 92.9 85.0 3.0 3.5
TKN/TPs 7 29 17 5 28.1
* Values corresponding to half the detection limit used in the graphics and the statistical analyses (detection limits: 9.0 µg dm–3 for TPw and 18.0 µg dm–3 for
ammonium); ** Photic zone: 2.7×SD (Cole 1979)
Table 4. Linear correlations among Secchi disk depth (SD), organic fraction of suspended solids (SSO), inorganic fraction of suspended
solids (SSI), and chlorophyll-a concentration (Chla) for two sampling periods
Sampling period Variables Linear correlation Probability
First: May/June 2013 SSI / Chla –0.2400 p>0.3
SSI / SD –0.5403 p<0.02
SSO / Chla 0.9701 p<0.001
SSO / SD –0.2459 p>0.3
Chla / SD –0.3326 p>0.1
Second: November/December 2013 SSI / Chla 0.8513 p<0.001
SSI / SD –0.6995 p<0.001
SSO / Chla 0.9385 p <0.001
SSO / SD –0.7471 p<0.001
Chla / SD –0.7689 p<0.001
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139
Nitrogen and phosphorus in cascade multi-system tropical reservoirs: water and sediment
Fig. 3. Variables analyzed in the water column at dierent sampling sites in the Jaguari (JG), Jacareí (JC), Cachoeira (CA), Atibainha (AT),
and Paiva Castro (PC) reservoirs. Gray bars, thin lines, and italics represent May/June 2013 sampling; Black bars, thick lines, and bold type
represent November/December 2013 sampling
Explanations: DIN – nitrite + nitrate + ammonium; SS – suspended solids; TSI – trophic state index; R – river; C – center; D – dam; C7, C6, and C5 – con-
necting channels between the reservoirs; C3 – water outlet channel to Santa Ines pumping station. Trend lines are second order polynomials
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140 Marcelo Pompe
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(7 to 29) and was much higher than the Redeld rate
(16:1) (Fig. 8 and Table 3). Since the N fraction was cal-
culated as DIN in this study, the values would be even
higher if calculated using TN. ese ratios suggest that
P is a mainly limiting factor of phytoplankton growth
in the studied reservoirs. Already, the lower levels
of TKN/TP in the sediment could be ascribed to two
processes. e rst was the accumulation of P in the
sediment, in agreement with the regressions between
Fig. 4. Nitrite, nitrate, and ammonium concentrations in the water
columns at dierent sampling sites in the Jaguari (JG), Jacareí (JC),
Cachoeira (CA), Atibainha (AT), and Paiva Castro (PC) reservoirs.
Gray bars, thin lines, and italics represent May/June 2013 sampling;
Black bars, thick lines, and bold type represent November/Decem-
ber 2013 sampling
Explanations: R – river; C – center; D – dam; C7, C6, and C5 – connecting
channels between reservoirs; C3 – water outlet channel to Santa Ines pump-
ing station. Trend lines are second order polynomials
Fig. 5. Variables analyzed in the sediment from dierent sampling
sites in the Jaguari (JG), Jacarei (JC), Cachoeira (CA), Atibainha
(AT), and Paiva Castro (PC) reservoirs. Gray bars, thin lines, and
italics represent May/June 2013 sampling; Black bars, thick lines,
and bold type represent November/December 2013 sampling
Explanations: TKN – total Kjeldahl nitrogen; TP – total phosphorus; R –
river; C – center; D – dam; C7, C6, and C5 – connecting channels between
the reservoirs; C3: water outlet channel to Santa Ines pumping station. Trend
lines are second order polynomials
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141
Nitrogen and phosphorus in cascade multi-system tropical reservoirs: water and sediment
TP in water and sediment, and the second process was
denitrication, which can remove substantial amounts
of deposited nitrogen from the sediment (Golterman
2004; David et al. 2006).
e cluster analyses (Fig. 9) showed a grouping with
the Jaguari reservoir separated from the other reser-
voirs. In the PCA results (Fig. 10), component 1 (which
explained 39.67% of the variability) separated the res-
ervoirs according to the nutrient concentrations in the
water and sediment. e Cachoeira and Atibainha res-
ervoirs showed the highest concentrations of organic
matter in the water (41.0 to 77.5%) and sediment (11.8
to 19.38%), while the Paiva Castro showed a higher in-
organic matter fraction (water: 20.6 to 41.6%; sediment:
9.21 to 17.78%). Component 2 (29.48% of the variabili-
ty) separated the reservoirs into two groups. One group
was composed of the Jaguari and Jacareí reservoirs,
with high levels of TSI, DIN, SS, and TP in the sedi-
Table 5. Total nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations (ranges and mean values) reported in waters and sediments
Reservoir/system Anthropogenic impact
Water Sediment
References
TN TP TN TP
[µg N dm–3] [µg P dm–3] [g N kg–1DW] [mg P kg
1DW]
Armando Ribeiro
Gonçalves (Itajá) (Brazil)
Eutrophic to
hypereutrophic
2800–4800
(3700)
40–200
(95)
NA NA Eskinazi-Sant’Anna et
al. (2007)
Gargalheiras (Brazil) Eutrophic to
supereutrophic
1500–15800
(8000)
50–600
(200)
NA NA
Itans, Parelhas,
Passagem das Traíras,
Sabugi (Brazil)
Mesotrophic to eutrophic 1200–14000
(7112.5)
10–270
(120)
NA NA
Salto Grande (Brazil) Eutrophic and
supereutrophic, with
hypertrophic points
NA NA 0.09–2.8* 47.58–1208 Dornfeld et al. (2004)
Salto Grande (Brazil) Eutrophic and
supereutrophic, with
hypertrophic points
40–33700* 30–890 NA NA Espíndola et al. (2004)
Dierent reservoirs in
São Paulo State (Brazil)
11.5% oligo-, 48% meso-
, 30% eu-, 8% supereu-,
and 2.5% hypereutrophic
71–57150
(2180)
4–1400
(75)
NA NA Lamparelli (2004)
Eight reservoirs along
the Paranapanema R.
(Brazil)
Mesotrophic with
eutrophic points
337–513
(411.1)
8–119
(30.8)
0–10.9 0–1960 Nogueira (2000)
Jorcin and Nogueira
(2005b)
Vargem das Flores
(Brazil)
34.8% of the stations
impacted by human
activity
(90) (26.6) NA NA Molozzi et al. (2011)
Ibiritê (Brazil) Eutrophic – 46.6% of
the stations impacted by
human activities
(260) (114.2) NA NA
Lake Taihu, China Eutrophic 1240–9480
(3540)
60–320
(130)
NA NA Xu et al. (2010)
Six reservoirs along the
Tietê R., São Paulo State
(Brazil)
Oligotrophic to eutrophic 50–1770* 20–230 1.45–44.38 3030–63050 Rodgher et al. (2005)
Smith et al. (2014)
Klusov Reservoir
(Slovakia)
Land use in the
catchment area: mixed
type
NA NA 1.1–2.6 0.4–1.1 Junakova and Balintova
(2012)
Changtan Reservoir
(China)
Eutrophic NA NA ~2.0–4.0 300–900 Ding and Jiang (2012)
Jaguari/Jacarei (Brazil) Mesotrophic to
hypereutrophic
170–370*** <18–79.3 NA 360–405 Hackbart et al. (2015)
Jaguari Eutrophic 348–900
(611)
<9–47
(24.4)
2.4–3**
(2.7)
320–510
(416.8)
This study
Jacareí Mesotrophic 306–507
(434.5)
<9–17
(7.3)
1.6–3.5**
(2.8)
370–548
(438)
Cachoeira, Atibainha,
Paiva Castro
Oligotrophic/mesotrophic 178–439
(338.5)
<9–14
(5.2)
1.2–4.1**
(2.73)
217–473
(339.63)
* Total Organic Nitrogen (TON); ** Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN); *** Dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), the sum of nitrite, nitrate, and ammonium
concentrations; NA – not available
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142 Marcelo Pompe
^o et al.
Fig. 6. Relationships between the water column variables (only the data for the Jaguari (JG) and Jacarei (JC) reservoirs are presented in order
to avoid excessive overlapping of text in the graphs). Numbers aer the symbols indicate the May/June 2013 (1) and November/December
2013 (2) sampling periods
Explanation: DIN – dissolved inorganic nitrogen (nitrite + nitrate + ammonium concentrations)
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143
Nitrogen and phosphorus in cascade multi-system tropical reservoirs: water and sediment
ment, in contrast to the other reservoirs, so the second
component appeared to be related to eutrophication.
Both components evidenced that the Jaguari and Jac-
areí were dierent from the other reservoirs.
Pompêo, Casas-Ruiz et al. (2015) also observed spa-
tial heterogeneity in Spanish reservoirs, between river
zone, central and the dam, as expected. It was found
that reservoirs with the greatest anthropogenic activi-
ties in the watersheds presented greater anthropogenic
contributions of metals, as well as higher trophic lev-
els. In the present study, some of the individual reser-
voirs showed a gradient from the upper portion to the
dam, as observed by Mariani and Pompêo (2008) and
Pompêo et al. (2013) for metals in the sediments of the
Rio Grande and Guarapiranga reservoirs (Brazil). Simi-
lar patterns for concentrations of N and P in sediment
were observed in the ve cascade reservoirs in the River
Lozoya (central Spain), with spatial heterogeneity both
among and within reservoirs (Lopez et al. 2009).
Concerning the water column, Pedrazzi et al. (2013),
Cardoso-Silva et al. (2014), and Pompêo, Kawamura et
al. (2015) observed horizontal spatial heterogeneity,
with a river to dam gradient. In the specic case of the
CS, work by Hackbart et al. (2015), considering the wa-
ter and sediment, suggested the existence of horizon-
tal spatial heterogeneity and the presence of compart-
ments, especially in the Jaguari and Jacareí reservoirs.
In cascade systems, the capacity of one reservoir
to inuence another located downstream depends on
its characteristics (Barbosa et al. 1999; Straškraba and
Tundisi 2013). Downstream reservoirs are inuenced
to a greater degree by deep and stratied reservoirs
than by shallow and unstratied reservoirs. e inten-
sity of this inuence also depends on the order of the
Fig. 7. Linear regressions between the water and sediment variables. Only the data for the Jaguari (JG) and Jacarei (JC) reservoirs are pre-
sented in order to avoid excessive overlapping of text in the graphs. Numbers aer the symbols indicate the May/June 2013 (1) and Novem-
ber/December 2013 (2) sampling periods
Explanations: TNK – total Kjeldahl nitrogen; TP – total phosphorus; DIN – dissolved inorganic nitrogen
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144 Marcelo Pompe
^o et al.
river that connects the water bodies, the trophic level of
the upstream reservoir, and the distance between them.
Reservoirs located in higher order rivers have longer
residence times and greater eects on the downstream
rivers. e distance between reservoirs is also relevant,
because within a distance of hundreds of kilometers
from the upstream reservoir, the river returns to the
natural state and the eects of that system are no longer
active. e most signicant eects occur closer to the
reservoirs. In the case of the CS, the distances between
the reservoirs are short and the water ows through
closed channels and tunnels. Consequently, the water
passes directly between the reservoirs without any sig-
nicant alterations of its physical and chemical char-
acteristics or by biolm activity (Stevenson 1996; Sa-
bater et al. 2002; Ensign and Doyle 2006). is feature
Fig. 8. Molar ratios between N and P in (a) water and (b) sediment
collected in dierent seasons in the Jaguari (JG), Jacareí (JC), Cach-
oeira (CA), Atibainha (AT), and Paiva Castro (PC) reservoirs
Explanations: TKN – total Kjeldahl nitrogen; TP – total phosphorus; DIN
– dissolved inorganic nitrogen; R – river; C – center; D – dam; C7, C6, and
C5 – connecting channels between the reservoirs; C3 – water outlet channel
to Santa Ines pumping station. Trend lines are second order polynomials
Fig. 9. Cluster analysis of water and sediment variables of the Can-
tareira System reservoirs Jaguari (JG), Jacareí (JC), Cachoeira (CA),
Atibainha (AT), and Paiva Castro (PC), using Euclidean distances
and Ward’s method
Explanations: R – river; C – center; D – dam; C7, C6, and C5 – connecting
channels between the reservoirs; C3 – water outlet channel to Santa Ines
pumping station. Numbers aer the symbols indicate the May/June 2013 (1)
and November/December 2013 (2) sampling periods
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145
Nitrogen and phosphorus in cascade multi-system tropical reservoirs: water and sediment
increases the inuence of the upstream reservoirs on
the downstream ones.
Some of the eects observed by Straškraba (1990) in
cascade reservoirs could be relevant in the case of the
CS reservoirs. For example, P concentrations strongly
decreased in the downstream reservoirs of the CS, prob-
ably due to greater sedimentation upstream (Conceição
et al. 2015), with sedimentation and xation by phyto-
plankton (Straškraba et al. 1993) being the most likely
explanation for the lower concentrations observed in
the downstream reservoirs.
Nevertheless, the patterns expected for cascade res-
ervoirs were not always clearly observed (Jorcin and
Nogueira 2005a,b; Nogueira et al. 2007). ose authors
observed that the sampling points located in the inter-
mediate portion of the River Parapanema (Brazil) were
more eutrophic, which was explained by high expor-
tation rates and increased concentrations of sediment
and nutrients in the reservoir, due to intense agricul-
tural activities in the surroundings of the intermediate
portion. erefore, the contributions of the watershed
of a certain reservoir could enhance the levels of nutri-
ents and, therefore, the trophic state, interfering with
the theoretical patterns expected in cascade reservoirs.
In another study concerning spatial variation in a
cascade system of six reservoirs located along the Ti-
etê River (São Paulo State, Brazil), Rodgher et al. (2005)
and Smith et al. (2014) observed that TN and TP
showed the same patterns of variation in water and sed-
iment, as suggested by the CRCC (Barbosa et al. 1999).
e patterns were similar to those observed in the pre-
sent study. Elsewhere, a trend of decreasing nutrients
and increasing transparency, due to the accumulation
of solids in the upstream reservoirs, was observed for
ve cascade reservoirs along the São Francisco River
in northeast Brazil (Lima and Severi 2014). Neverthe-
less, as observed by Jorcin and Nogueira (2005a,b) and
Nogueira et al. (2007), the intermediate reservoirs of
the São Francisco River were subject to modications
associated directly with the presence of tributaries and
surrounding cities.
According to the Brazilian water quality standards,
based on the uses of water bodies (CONAMA 2005),
the present results indicate that the water of the CS res-
Fig. 10. Principal component analysis of water and sediment variables of the Cantareira System reservoirs Jaguari (JG), Jacareí (JC), Cach-
oeira (CA), Atibainha (AT), and Paiva Castro (PC). Numbers aer the symbols indicate the May/June 2013 (1) and November/December
2013 (2) sampling periods
Explanations: R – river; C center; D – dam; C7, C6, and C5 – connecting channels between the reservoirs; C3 – water outlet channel to Santa Ines pumping
station. TKN – total Kjeldahl nitrogen; TPw – total phosphorus in water; DIN – dissolved inorganic nitrogen; TSI – trophic state index; TPs – total phospho-
rus in sediment; SedOrg – organic fraction of sediment; SedInor – inorganic fraction of sediment; SD – Secchi disk; SS – suspended solids; %SSO – organic
fraction of suspended solids; %SSI – inorganic fraction of suspended solids
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146 Marcelo Pompe
^o et al.
ervoirs should be classied as no better than Class 2.
is is water destined for human consumption, aer
traditional treatment; for protection of aquatic commu-
nities; for recreation with primary contact; for irriga-
tion of vegetables, fruit trees, plants and parks, gardens,
and sports and leisure areas, with which the public may
have direct contact; and for aquaculture and shing.
e data are worrying, because the Paiva Castro, the last
reservoir of the CS, which provides water to the treat-
ment station, has to achieve Class 1 quality, according
to the CONAMA resolution No 357 (CONAMA 2005).
is classication imposes greater restrictions in terms
of water quality and protection of the surrounding are-
as. Hence, progressive goals should be established aim-
ing to improve the quality of the CS reservoirs, focus-
ing on achieving high water quality and sustainability
in the long term. Specically, for the Jaguari and Jacareí
reservoirs, Hackbart et al. (2015) indicate that TSI val-
ues from 54 to 69 represent trophic levels from meso to
hypereutrophic, which are incompatible with the crite-
ria for Class 1 water quality (CONAMA 2005).
e patterns of the concentrations of DIN, TP, ni-
trite, nitrate, ammonium, chlorophyll-a, SD and sus-
pended solids determined in this research corroborate
the CRCC (Barbosa et al. 1999), with the upstream res-
ervoirs being more eutrophic and the downstream ones
being more oligotrophic, suggesting low contributions
from the watershed areas of the intermediate reservoirs.
e data also suggest that the low phytoplankton bio-
mass observed in the reservoirs is regulated by the low
nutrient availability, with the upstream reservoirs func-
tioning as nutrient accumulators and the sediment as
the main compartment for storage of P and N. ese
results also demonstrate the urgent need for restoration
measures in the upstream reservoirs (especially the Jag-
uari and Jacareí), as previously suggested for the reser-
voirs of the Tietê River basin (Barbosa et al. 1999). Per-
forming the rst interventions in the upstream basins
would optimize eorts and nancial resources, because
undertaking actions upstream of multi-system reser-
voirs in cascade leads to positive impacts in the down-
stream chain of reservoirs.
Acknowledgements
e authors are grateful to FAPESP for nancial
support (procs. 2012/11890-4, 2013/03494-4, and
2014/22581-8); to the Bioscience Institute for logistical
support; to Geison Castro, Jose Flaviano Oliveira, and
Maurício Perini for assistance during the work; to Car-
los Roberto Dardis (Division Manager, Sabesp) for the
facilities provided during eldwork at the Cachoeira
Reservoir; and to Marina Conança (Bragança Pau-
lista, SP), for all the support provided.
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... According to Pompêo et al. (2017), with the exception of the IG reservoir (which was not studied at the time), for 2013, the observed dissolved inorganic nitrogen, total phosphorus, nitrite, nitrate, ammonium, chlorophyll a, suspended solids, and Secchi disk values for the CS were in agreement with the Cascading Reservoir Continuum Concept (CRCC) (Barbosa et al. 1999). Accordingly, the upstream reservoirs were more eutrophic and the downstream ones were more oligotrophic, suggesting low contributions from the basin areas of the intermediate reservoirs. ...
... Accordingly, the upstream reservoirs were more eutrophic and the downstream ones were more oligotrophic, suggesting low contributions from the basin areas of the intermediate reservoirs. Pompêo et al. (2017) also showed that the phytoplankton biomass in the reservoirs was regulated by the availability of nutrients, with the upstream reservoirs functioning as nutrient accumulators and the sediment as the main compartment for storage of P and N. The findings revealed an urgent need for restoration measures in the upstream reservoirs, especially JG and JC, which were more eutrophic than those located downstream. ...
... This manner, the more turbid reservoirs presented higher concentrations of chlorophyll a and lower values for SD (Fig. 3), suggesting that the organic fraction was mainly responsible for the total material in suspension. Pompêo et al. (2017) also observed that the organic fraction accounted for the highest percentage of the suspended material in the CS reservoirs, in 2013. ...
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... Já o reservatório de Paiva Castro (PC) (46°39'27"W 23°20'5"S), pertence ao Sistema Cantareira, que faz a transposição entre duas bacias hidrográficas, importando água desde a bacia do Piracicaba para a bacia do Alto Tietê. Deste modo, o reservatório Paiva Castro recebe água dos reservatórios Jaguari, Jacareí, Atibainha, Cachoerinha, e mais recentemente do Igaratá, produzindo até 33 m 3 /s, abastecendo 9 milhões de pessoas (POMPÊO et al., 2017;POMPÊO et al., 2021). Este reservatório tem registros de aplicações de sulfato de cobre desde meados de 1990 (CARDOSO-SILVA et al., 2016). ...
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Os metais de origem geogênica ou antrópica, podem ser incorporados pela biota, porém, grande parte tende a sedimentar permanecendo retidos no sedimento. De modo geral, as pesquisas que avaliam os metais no sedimento, quase sempre o fazem de forma pontual e são relativamente poucos os trabalhos que mostram a distribuição espacial das concentrações de metais no sedimento superficial, particularmente em reservatórios. Este trabalho visou avaliar a heterogeneidade espacial da qualidade do sedimento, com base nas concentrações de metais e em guias de qualidade, em três reservatórios paulistas. Foi feita uma classificação das concetrações do Cr, Ni, Pb e Zn nos reservatórios de Rio Grande (RG), Paiva Castro (PC) e Itupararanga (ITU) segundo os Valores de Referência Regional (VRR), Threshold Effect Level (TEL) e Probable Effect Level (PEL). O modelamento da distribuição espacial foi realizada pelo Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW). Os mapas temáticos obtidos, demonstram que o RG apresentou uma classificação Regular para Cr e em certas porções do sedimento, Ruim para Zn. No PC somente o Cr foi classificado como Regular e para ITU, Cr e Pb mostram áreas categorizadas como Regular. O Cr foi o metal com maior potencial de risco nos três reservatórios avaliados, com valores por cima do TEL. De modo geral o RG foi o reservatório que apresentou condições mais preocupantes de toxicidade potencial, com base nos critérios de qualidadeas aplicados, seguido de ITU e depois por PC, o menos impactado entre eles, levando em consideração as concentrações dos metais estudados.
... Degradation of the Igaratá reservoir is less severe compared to the other reservoirs, with it currently being classified as oligotrophic (Frascareli et al., 2018). The Atibainha is the fourth of five reservoirs in the Cantareira cascade multisystem, which is the primary source of drinking water for the São Paulo metropolitan region (Cardoso- Pompêo et al., 2017). The type of land use around the Atibainha watershed has a major impact on the water quality of this reservoir (Vieira and Vieira, 2016;Cardoso-Silva et al., 2017). ...
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Paleolimnological research can shed light on a broad range of environmental concerns; however, such studies are scarce in reservoirs. To address this lack of knowledge, a paleolimnological investigation was conducted to determine historical changes in sedimentation rates (SR), using 210 Pb geochronology, and concentrations of nutrients and metals (Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Al, Mn, Fe) in seven subtropical reservoirs (São Paulo, Brazil). Sediment cores were collected in the dam areas. Increasing SR was observed in all reservoirs and was mainly attributed to eutrophication and changes in land use and occupation. Considering the total nitrogen and/or phosphorus, the sediment could be considered polluted at the Broa, Barra Bonita, Salto Grande, and Rio Grande reservoirs. Decreasing values were observed for Pb when the use of tetraethyl lead as an additive in gasoline was forbidden (1990). According to the applied indices, no significant enrichment, contamination, or ecological risk for metals were registered, except at the Rio Grande reservoir. At this reservoir, a moderate enrichment of Mn was observed since 1999, which was mainly associated with municipal wastewater and erosive processes, as indicated by a significant correlation between Mn and SR (r = 0.73, p < 0.0001). A very high enrichment of Cu was observed. The accumulation of Cu in this reservoir peaked in 2006 to 6183.0 mgCu/kg, a value 412-fold higher than the background. Even during a period before intense industrialisation, concentrations of Cu were 49-fold higher than background levels. The increase of Cu in bottom sediments could be attributed to vertical migration according to a series of complex mechanisms; however, further research will be needed to improve the understanding of Cu dynamics. This work makes an important contribution to understanding the paleolimnology of reservoirs, and the findings could also be applied in other contexts, since the impact of metal contamination in water bodies is a global-scale problem.
... Located in São Paulo State, southeast Brazil, between the coordinates 22º53'20"S and 46º24'49"W ( Figure 1), the Jaguari-Jacareí Reservoir comprises two reservoirs, the Jaguari and the Jacareí, connected through a canal with width of 25m and length of 130m, forming one water body. Altogether the reservoir has a drainage area of 1.252 km 2 , volume of 808 hm 3 (Sperling, 1999), maximum depth of 50 m (ANA, 2015), and water residence time of 368.5 days (Pompêo et al., 2017). The climate in the region is characterized as tropical, with dry and wet seasons, the average temperature for the hottest month is above 22 ºC and for the coldest month is below 18 °C, while average annual rainfall is c. 1400 mm (Miranda et al., 2009). ...
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