Water quality improvement to avoid excessive phytoplankton blooms often requires eutrophication management where both phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) play a role. While empirical eutrophication studies and ecological resource competition theory both provide insight into phytoplankton abundance in response to nutrient loading, they are not seamlessly linked in the current state of eutrophication research. We argue that understanding species competition for multiple nutrients and light in natural phytoplankton communities is key to assessing phytoplankton abundance under changing nutrient supply. Here we present GPLake-S, a mechanistic model rooted in ecological resource competition theory, which has only eight parameters and can predict chlorophyll-a to nutrient relationships for phytoplankton communities under N, P, N+P colimitation and light limitation. GPLake-S offers a simple mechanistic tool to make first estimates of chlorophyll-a levels and nutrient thresholds for generic lake properties, accounting for variation in N:P ratio preferences of phytoplankton species. This makes the model supportive of water management and policy.