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Increasing the cost-effectiveness of water quality improvements through pollution abatement target-setting at different spatial scales

Mikolaj Czajkowski (), Hans Andersen, Gite Blicher-Mathiasen, Wiktor Budzinski (), Katarina Elofsson (), Jan Hagemejer, Berit Hasler, Christoph Humborg, James Smart, Erik Smedberg, Per Stålnacke, Hans Thodsen, Adam Wąs, Maciej Wilamowski, Tomasz Zylicz and Nick Hanley ()
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Hans Andersen: Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
Gite Blicher-Mathiasen: Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
Berit Hasler: Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
Christoph Humborg: Department of Environmental Science, Stockholm University
James Smart: Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University
Erik Smedberg: Department of Environmental Science, Stockholm University
Per Stålnacke: Department of Water Resources, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
Hans Thodsen: Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
Adam Wąs: Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Economic Sciences
Maciej Wilamowski: Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw

No 2020-02, Working Papers from Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the potential gains in cost-effectiveness from changing the spatial scale at which nutrient reduction targets are set for the Baltic Sea, focusing on nutrient loadings associated with agriculture. Costs of achieving loadings reductions are compared across five levels of spatial scale, namely the entire Baltic Sea; the marine basin level; the country level; the watershed level; and the grid square level. A novel highly disaggregated model, which represents decreases in agricultural profits, changes in root zone N concentrations and transport to the Baltic Sea is proposed, and is then used to estimate the gains in cost-effectiveness from changing the spatial scale of nutrient reduction targets. The model includes 14 Baltic Sea marine basins, 14 countries, 117 watersheds and 19,023 10-by-10 km grid squares. A range of policy options are identified which approach the cost-effective reductions in N loadings identified by the constrained optimization model. We argue that our results have important implications for both domestic and international policy design for achieving water quality improvements where non-point pollution is a key stressor of water quality.

Keywords: cost-effectiveness; nutrient pollution; agricultural run-off; Baltic Sea; eutrophication (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q52 Q53 Q18 Q25 F53 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-env
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https://www.wne.uw.edu.pl/index.php/download_file/5367/ First version, 2020 (application/pdf)

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