Does Complex Hydrology Require Complex Water Quality Policy? NManager Simulations for Lake Rotorua
AbstractThis paper examines six different approaches to nutrient management, and simulates the economic costs and environmental impacts associated with them using NManager, a partial equilibrium simulation model developed by Motu and NIWA, the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research. We focus on Lake Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand, where the regional council is concerned with the decline in the lake's water quality and has set a goal to restore the lake to its condition during the 1960s. Reaching this goal will require significant reductions in the amount of nutrients discharged into the lake, especially from non-point sources such as farm land. Managing water quality is made difficult by the presence of groundwater lags in the catchment: nutrients that leach from the soil arrive at the lake over multiple years. The mitigation schemes we consider are land retirement, requiring best practice, explicit nitrogen limits on landowners, a simple nutrient trading scheme, and two more complex trading schemes that account for groundwater lags. We demonstrate that best practice alone is not sufficient to meet the environmental target for Lake Rotorua. Under an export trading scheme, the distribution of mitigation across the catchment is more cost effective than its distribution under explicit limits on landowners or land retirement. However, the more complex trading schemes do not result in sufficient, or sufficiently certain, gains in cost effectiveness over the simple trading scheme to justify the increase in complexity involved in their implementation.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 11_14.
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
groundwater; Lake Rotorua; model; nutrients; nutrient trading; water quality; non-point source pollution;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C69 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Other
- Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
- Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
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- Kerr, Suzi & Sanchirico, James & Newell, Richard, 2002.
"Fishing Quota Markets,"
dp-02-20, Resources For the Future.
- Hung, Ming-Feng & Shaw, Daigee, 2005. "A trading-ratio system for trading water pollution discharge permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 83-102, January.
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