This project emerged as a result of close cooperation with the main water management stakeholders in the Netherlands: Water Authorities (regional and national), STOWA (the national knowledge centre of the regional water managers in the Netherlands) and consultancy companies. It is strongly tied to the needs of these main stakeholders related to the Paris agreement on climate mitigation actions.
Our current best‐estimate points out that the emission of methane from drainage ditches alone may be responsible for 16% of total Dutch methane emissions. Besides developing a decision support tool for climate smart water management, we envision an important spin‐off to climate models. Because DIGS will further broaden our insight on aquatic carbon processing and incorporate these process‐based models, we will gain understanding on climate feedback loops
Our main goals are to quantify current GHG emission and C burial in inland waters and determine key drivers. This, in turn, can lead to the identification of concrete GHG mitigation measures, e.g. by nutrient reduction, restoration of submerged vegetation oxidising the sediment, and optimal dredging.
A four-step approach will be used in this project. First of all, field measurements in different types of shallow inland waters will be carried out to define biogeochemical key drivers that provide proxies for extrapolation. Then, the national GHG emissions from shallow surface waters will be mapped based on response functions linked to these proxies in combination with data available in high‐spatial resolution (system morphology, water quality, soil type, land use). Subsequently, the potential measures directly linked to the previously mentioned steps to minimise GHG emissions and maximise C‐storage using experimental ponds and field‐scale experiments are tested. Finally, a GHG emission and carbon storage module for a widely used ecosystem model will be developed and validated.