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Title: Policies to control nitrogen pollution in the presence of river flow controls and weather variability
Author: Aftab, A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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Both low river flows from surface water extraction for irrigation and diffuse nitrogen pollution are agricultural externalities. Efficient environmental regulation at the catchment level requires that the two be considered together. An economic analysis of policies to control non-point source nitrogen pollution in the presence of minimum river flow controls in a Scottish agricultural catchment was undertaken. A realistic nonlinear Bio-Physical Economic model was made to integrate farming practices (crop/soil land allocation, nitrogen fertiliser application, livestock husbandry, surface water extraction for irrigation etc.) with profitability (crop yield) and environmental externalities. Numerous economic, managerial and mixed regulatory policies were ranked on overall reduction in welfare arising from loss of profitability under regulation. The presence of minimum river flow controls in the catchment was found to reduce nitrogen pollution. This reduction was sufficient to be considered in the design of diffuse pollution policies. However river flow controls did not, for the most part, alter the relative ranking of instruments. By themselves, river flow controls were found not be a cost effective means to reduce diffuse pollution. The effect of varying weather patterns on the relative ranking of policies and the levels required to meet the standard was considered. Although the overall efficiency of economic controls targeting emissions was established, mixed instrument policies did particularly well in ‘wet’ weather conditions. While economic controls targeting nitrogen as an input performed poorly in the representative ‘wet’ weather conditions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available