During my PhD project at the Wageningen University and NIOO-KNAW I will explore the potential of the new concept of “Smart Nutrient Retention Networks” to improve water quality and sustainable nutrient use. The underlying societal problem is that nutrients end up in surface waters, where they cause water quality problems (e.g. harmful algal blooms) and eventually are lost into the ocean where they become unavailable to humanity. The idea is that positive feedback mechanisms between water plants and nutrient retention in individual waterbodies can affect water quality of larger hydrological networks. In my project, I will develop a model to test and demonstrate smart management strategies to retain and recycle nutrients locally, whilst improving water quality at a larger scale.