Integrated Assessment of Water Framework Directive Nitrate Reduction Measures

30 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2008

See all articles by Carlo Fezzi

Carlo Fezzi

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Environmental Sciences

Michael Hutchins

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Dan Rigby

University of Manchester - Centre for Agricultural, Food and Resource Economic Studies

Ian J. Bateman

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Economic and Social Studies

Paulette Posen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

David Hadley

University of New England (Australia) - School of Business Economics and Public Policy; University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Environmental Sciences

Date Written: August 1, 2008

Abstract

The paper develops a spatially explicit method for integrated assessment of alternative measures to reduce nitrate leaching into rivers and lakes from farms, a key objective of the European Union Water Framework Directive (WFD). This approach combines regression models, based on Farm Business Survey and June Agricultural Census data, for predicting the economic costs to agriculture of nitrate reduction measures with a hydrological model encompassing both diffuse and point source pollution to estimate the water quality changes arising from such instruments. A case study of the agriculturally diverse Yorkshire Derwent catchment in the north of England illustrates the overall approach. We consider three measures previously proposed to the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for tackling diffuse agricultural pollution: (i) reducing inorganic fertilizer application; (ii) reducing livestock stocking rates; and (iii) converting arable land to un-grazed grassland. The results reveal marked variability in the economic impacts and nitrate leaching reductions, with the cost effectiveness of these measures varying by up to a factor of three. Furthermore, the analysis suggests that WFD implementation may entail major land use changes resulting in substantial economic impacts. The spatially explicit aspect of our approach permits assessment of the optimal targeting of policy implementation to areas of particular environmental interest.

Keywords: integrated assessment, Water Framework Directive, diffuse pollution, nitrates, cost-effectiveness

JEL Classification: Q15, Q18, Q25

Suggested Citation

Fezzi, Carlo and Hutchins, Michael and Rigby, Dan and Bateman, Ian Julian and Posen, Paulette and Hadley, David, Integrated Assessment of Water Framework Directive Nitrate Reduction Measures (August 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1268357 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1268357

Carlo Fezzi (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Environmental Sciences ( email )

Norwich, Norfolk
United Kingdom

Michael Hutchins

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Dan Rigby

University of Manchester - Centre for Agricultural, Food and Resource Economic Studies ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL, M13 9PL
United Kingdom
0161 275 4808 (Phone)

Ian Julian Bateman

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Economic and Social Studies ( email )

Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Paulette Posen

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

David Hadley

University of New England (Australia) - School of Business Economics and Public Policy ( email )

Armidale, NSW 2351
Australia

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Environmental Sciences ( email )

Norwich, Norfolk
United Kingdom

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