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Keywords:

  • water quality trading;
  • tradable discharge permits;
  • eutrophication;
  • permit pricing

Collentine, Dennis and Holger Johnsson, 2011. Crop Discharge Permits for Reduction of Nitrogen Loads to the Baltic Sea. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 48(1): 24-31. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00596.x

Abstract:  Current international agreements call for a significant reduction of nutrient loads to the Baltic Sea. In one of the signatory countries, Sweden, regulatory authorities have concluded that new measures will be needed to meet national reduction targets. This article evaluates the effect of one possible new measure for reducing nitrogen loads, introducing mandatory discharge permits for crop cultivation as one component of a proposed discharge permit system. Using the framework of the proposed system, expected net load reductions and permit prices are calculated for three crop permit scenarios in a catchment in Southern Sweden. In addition, gross leaching is calculated for a larger region to study the potential for reducing net loads. The article concludes that while permitting reduces loading, achieving reduction targets will require additional measures beyond the scenarios studied.