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Novel Quantification of Coupled Natural and Cross-Sectoral Water and Nutrient/Pollutant Flows for Environmental Management.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2005 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 39, no 16, 6182-6190 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Human water use and anthropogenic water pollution and ecosystem deterioration have increased so much that it is now a strategic challenge to maximize benefits from various possible water uses, while ensuring that basic human needs are met and the environment is protected. We propose and develop a novel use of input-output flow analysis as a relatively simple, compact and powerful tool for quantification of coupled natural and cross-sectoral flows of water, nutrients, and pollutants in catchments. The tool quantifies implications of various environmental regulation and management scenarios for both natural water systems and engineered-economic systems and sectors that use and impact natural waters for meeting human needs. Specific case study application to water and nitrogen flows in the Swedish Norrstrom drainage basin indicates considerable nitrogen load contributions to surface and coastal waters from slow groundwater flow paths and legacies of accumulated nitrogen in subsurface and immobile water pools. This implies that effective nitrogen load abatement cannot focus only on active sources but must also include downstream measures, which can capture and abate nitrogen/pollutant loading from different types of known and yet unknown point and diffuse sources within associated catchments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 39, no 16, 6182-6190 p.
Keyword [en]
National Category
Water Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7186DOI: 10.1021/es050522kISI: 000231203100039ScopusID: 2-s2.0-23844469767OAI: diva2:12119
QC 20100623Available from: 2007-05-28 Created: 2007-05-28 Last updated: 2010-12-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Environmental management of water systems under uncertainty
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental management of water systems under uncertainty
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Hydrological drainage/river basins constitute highly heterogeneous systems of coupled natural and anthropogenic water and pollutant flows across political, national and international boundaries. These flows need to be appropriately understood, quantified and communicated to stakeholders, in order to appropriately guide environmental water system management. In this thesis, various uncertainties about water and pollutant flows in drainage/river basins and their implications for effective and efficient water pollution abatement are investigated, in particular for mine-related heavy metal loadings in the Swedish Dalälven River basin and for nitrogen loadings in the Swedish Norrström drainage basin. Economic cost-minimization modeling is used to investigate the implications of pollutant load uncertainties for the cost-efficiency of catchment-scale abatement of water pollution.

Results indicate that effective and efficient pollution abatement requires explicit consideration of uncertainties about pollution sources, diffuse contributions of the subsurface water system to downstream pollutant observations in surface waters, and downstream effects of different possible measures to reduce water pollution. In many cases, downstream load abatement measures must be used, in addition to source abatement, in order to reduce not only expected, but also uncertainties around expected pollutant loads. Effective and efficient environmental management of water systems must generally also consider the entire catchments of these systems, rather than focusing only on discrete pollutant sources. The thesis presents some relatively simple, catchment-scale pollutant flow analysis tools that may be used to decrease uncertainties about unmonitored water and pollutant flows and subsurface pollutant accumulation-depletion and diffuse loading to downstream waters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Mark- och vattenteknik, 2007
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1034
Water Resources Engineering
National Category
Water Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4396 (URN)978-91-7178-670-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-06-07, D2, Lindstedtsvägen 5, KTH, 10:00
Available from: 2007-05-28 Created: 2007-05-28 Last updated: 2012-03-19Bibliographically approved

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