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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Forage Seed and Cereal Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #119476

Title: SPATIAL EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVE NONPOINT NUTRIENT REGULATORY INSTRUMENTS

Author
item Whittaker, Gerald
item FARE, ROLF
item SRINIVASAN, RAGHAVAN
item SCOTT, DAVID

Submitted to: Water Resources Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/18/2002
Publication Date: 8/31/2003
Citation: WHITTAKER, G.W., FARE, R., SRINIVASAN, R., SCOTT, D.W. SPATIAL EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVE NONPOINT NUTRIENT REGULATORY INSTRUMENTS. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH. 2003. v. 39(4). p. 1079-1088.

Interpretive Summary: This study presents a framework for analyzing environmental policy for remediation of salmonid habitat and water quality. The focus is on agricultural land use and nonpoint source pollution, but the techniques can be applied to a wide variety of environmental policy questions. The method consists of linking economic and environmental models. We apply the method to the evaluation of an input tax on nitrogen fertilizer on non-irrigated wheat and barley farms in the Columbia River Basin. We conclude that remediation policies must be targeted to the watershed level to operate efficiently.

Technical Abstract: This study presents a framework for analyzing environmental policy for remediation of salmonid habitat and water quality. The focus is on agricultural land use and nonpoint source pollution, but the techniques can be applied to a wide variety of environmental policy questions. The method consists of nonparametric production models using data envelopment analysis, nonparametric regression surfaces to link optimized production to geographic regions, and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool simulate the physical environment. We apply the method to the evaluation of an input tax on nitrogen fertilizer on non irrigated wheat and barley farms in the Columbia River Basin, and find a large variation in the cost of nitrogen reduction in surface water. We conclude that to be effective, such a tax must be targeted at specific watersheds. The method is capable of simulating many non-point source pollution policies, including taxes, alternative tillage practices, and regulation.