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Nutrient Trading in Lake Rotorua: Determining Net Nutrient Inputs


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  • Suzi Kerr

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

  • Kit Rutherford

    (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research)


Lake Rotorua is experiencing increasing nutrient-related water quality problems. This paper is one in a series that explores the idea of creating a nutrient trading system as part of the ongoing policy response to this problem.1 Most of the current nutrient flows to the Lake come from non-point rural sources - measuring these emissions is challenging. We find that it is possible to monitor/model nutrient loss from a wide range of activities in the Rotorua catchment. The model OVERSEER combined with ROTAN and some other models for forestry, urban and geothermal activities and horticulture already exist. They are currently in a process of enhancement - a particular area of current weakness is knowledge of the groundwater lags from specific locations in the catchment. The land-based models need to be used in a specific form that relies on initialisation with verifiable data and uses easily collated and verified data on an annual basis. The form of the model should be fixed for each regulatory year to minimise uncertainty for landowners and regulators. The models need to be updated to reflect new science. The process for doing this needs to be strategic and credible (this will be discussed in a later paper on governance processes). Once changes are recommended they need to be implemented in a way that is perceived to be fair.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 08_03.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:08_03

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Keywords: Water quality; monitor; verify; report; model; emissions trading;

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  1. Steven Stillman, 2005. "Examining Changes in the Value of Rural Land in New Zealand between 1989 and 2003," Urban/Regional, EconWPA 0509015, EconWPA.
  2. Don Fullerton & Sarah West, 1999. "Can Taxes on Cars and on Gasoline Mimic an Unavailable Tax on Emissions?," NBER Working Papers 7059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kerr, Suzi & Newell, Richard, 2001. "Policy-Induced Technology Adoption: Evidence from the U.S. Lead Phasedown," Discussion Papers, Resources For the Future dp-01-14, Resources For the Future.
  4. Dean R. Hyslop & David C. Maré, 2003. "Understanding New Zealand's Changing Income Distribution 1983-98: A Semiparametric Analysis," Working Papers, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research 03_16, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Hugh McDonald & Suzi Kerr, 2011. "Trading Efficiency in Water Quality Trading Markets: An Assessment of Trade-Offs," Working Papers, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research 11_15, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.


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