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Coupling Natural and Human Models in the Context of a Lake Ecosystem: Lake Mendota, Wisconsin, USA

Weizhe Weng, Kevin Boyle, Kaitlin J. Farrell, Cayelan C. Carey, Kelly M. Cobourn, Hilary A. Dugan, Paul C. Hanson, Nicole K. Ward and Kathleen C. Weathers

Ecological Economics, 2020, vol. 169, issue C

Abstract: Nutrient loading lead to poor water quality and this has impacts of the welfare of people who live near lakes. We develop a novel coupling between a limnology model of within-lake hydrodynamics and an economic model of property prices to support integrated assessments of actions to protect or improve water quality. We find, in the context of Lake Mendota that is eutrophic with high concentrations of nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P), that there is a nonlinear response in water quality to changes in nutrient loading. Reductions in nutrient loading result in much larger improvements in water quality than the magnitude of water quality deterioration with a similar size increase in nutrient loading. Given the in-situ concentrations of N and P in the lake, large reductions in nutrient loading are required to have a substantial impact on water quality.

Keywords: Nutrient loading; Water quality; Coupling liminology and economic models; General Lake Model; Hedonic property-value model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.106556

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