Identifying Amsterdam's nutrient hotspots: A new method to map human excreta at building and neighborhood scale

Wielemaker, Rosanne; Stuiver, John; Zeeman, Grietje; Weijma, Jan


Recovering nutrients from human excreta and wastewater has been receiving increasing attention as a means to supplement or replace synthetic fertilizer production. Apart from technologies for nutrient recovery at centralized wastewater treatment plants, numerous decentralized, source-separated sanitation systems, also known as new sanitation systems, have been developed to facilitate recovery. Decision-making for the planning and implementation of new sanitation systems would benefit from a spatially explicit inventory of nutrient hotspots in urban areas. To provide visual representations of nutrient loads, we developed a methodology that combines spatial-temporal modeling with geographic information system analysis, and used it for the city of Amsterdam. The methodology is new in the field of nutrient mapping, especially at the smallest geographical scale: building. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium loads and hotspots are mapped at both building and neighborhood scale, drawing attention to the need for multiple scale analyses in decision-making. This study concludes with a discussion on the potential to further develop the method proposed to include more detailed and verified data and to identify nutrient hotspots that are promising as nutrient recovery sites with new sanitation systems.