MONERIS (Modelling Nutrient Emissions in River Systems) was developed to determine nutrient emissions for entire river basin districts and to analyse their retention and transport in the river system. The model explores the diffuse pathways of emissions, such as atmospheric deposition, erosion, surface runoff, tile drainage, groundwater, and urban systems, as well as inputs via point sources (wastewater treatment plants and industrial discharges). MONERIS also takes into account a wide range of regional characteristics, such as the water supply, soil characteristics, slope, geology, population, and sewage systems; this includes an inventory of wastewater treatment plants. Numerous digital maps as well as statistical information prepared by a geographic information system comprise the system. In addition to a description of the current state, MONERIS allows for the mapping of nutrient flows under various scenarios and can model multiple different management options. In this way, current as well as future emissions, loads and concentrations can be modelled, emission hotspots can be identified, and the potential success of management options can be determined. Users can display all central results in the form of maps and diagrams  with a related open-source software program.

MONERIS has already been successfully used in the EU-27 (Europe as a whole as well as for individual countries), Canada, Brazil, Mongolia and China, and in many cases for the development of management plans by river basin associations of the Danube, Elbe, Weser, Ems, and Oder in Europe, as well as the São Francisco in Brazil. The development of this model at IGB was supported by funding from the UBA, the BMBF, the BMU, the BfN, and the EU as well as by commissions from administrative partners (such as state authorities and river basin associations).

For more information, please visit the MONERIS website.



City, country, river: modelling and managing nutrient pollution in lakes and rivers

Contact person

Markus Venohr

Programme Area Speaker
Research group
River System Modelling

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