Cost-effectiveness of measures in agriculture to reduce the nitrogen load flowing via the Danube River into the Black Sea
The paper presents a short version of the basic method based on costeffectiveness analysis of measures to assess the possible reductions of nitrogen loads in the water bodies of selected countries in the Danube catchment area originating from agriculture, applied in the daNUbs project. The effects on the national nitrogen soil surface balances of measures representing changed agricultural production techniques are determined by using the OECD method to calculate nitrogen input and output. Subsequently, the effects on the nitrogen load in the surface waters as well as in the Black Sea are calculated by the MONERIS model and additional factors for retention in surface waters and main streams. The internal costs of the measures considered take into account the induced changes of direct and indirect production costs and of gross output of all agricultural producers involved. The comparison of cost-effectiveness ratios of different measures (supposed to be carried out in the countries selected) reveals great differences: Both, measures with positive cost-effectiveness ratios and measures with negative ones are identified, the latter indicating that they are commercially profitable to the agricultural producers. The cost-effectiveness ratios of the measures vary strongly, depending on the composition of agricultural production, the degree of retention of nitrogen in the soil and the water bodies as well as on the cost levels. Finally, for each country the different measures are ranked according to their cost-effectiveness ratios in order to combine them in a costoptimal way.
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