The role of technology and policy in mitigating regional nitrogen pollution

dc.contributor.authorGu, Baojing
dc.contributor.authorZhu, Yimei
dc.contributor.authorChang, Jie
dc.contributor.authorPeng, Chanhui
dc.contributor.authorLiu, Dong
dc.contributor.authorMin, Yong
dc.contributor.authorLuo, Weidong
dc.contributor.authorHowarth, R. W.
dc.contributor.authorGe, Y.
dc.description.abstractHuman activity greatly influences nitrogen (N) pollution in urbanized and adjacent areas. We comprehensively studied the N cycling in an urban-rural complex system, the Greater Hangzhou Area (GHA) in southeastern China. Our results indicated that subsurface N accumulation doubled, riverine N export tripled and atmospheric N pollutants increased 2.5 times within the GHA from 1980-2004. Agriculture was the largest N pollution source to air and water before 2000, whereas industry and human living gradually became the primary N pollution sources with the socioeconomic development. Based on the sensitivity analysis, we developed a scenario analysis to quantify the effects of technology and policy on environmental N dynamics. The fertilization reduction scenario suggested that the groundwater N pollution could decrease by 17% with less than a 5% reduction in crop production; the N effluent standard revision scenario led to a surface water N pollution reduction of 45%; the constructed wetlands implementation scenario could reduce surface water pollution by 43%-64%. Lastly, the technological improvement scenario mitigated atmospheric N pollution by 65%. Technologies play a key role in atmospheric N pollution control, policies mainly contribute to groundwater N pollution control, while technology and policy both work on surface water N mitigation within an urban-rural complex.
dc.description.sponsorshipWe are grateful for the funding provided by the National Science Foundation of China 30970281 and 30870235 and the Y C Tang Disciplinary Development Fund.
dc.identifier.citationEnviron. Res. Lett. 6 014011
dc.publisherInstitute of Physics Publishing
dc.subjectair pollution
dc.subjectconstructed wetland
dc.subjectdeveloping country
dc.subjectwastewater treatment
dc.subjectwater pollution
dc.titleThe role of technology and policy in mitigating regional nitrogen pollution


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