Pollution controls in Lake Tai with the reduction of the watershed nitrogen footprint

Wu, Mingqian; Zhang, Xiuming; Reis, Stefan ORCID:; Ge, Shengxiu; Gu, Baojing. 2022 Pollution controls in Lake Tai with the reduction of the watershed nitrogen footprint. Journal of Cleaner Production, 332, 130132. 7, pp.

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To feed an increasingly affluent population, the nitrogen input into global food production systems is currently two times the safe planetary boundary leading to adverse impacts on the local and global environments. The nitrogen footprint is an important index to understand the impact of human activities on the environment, however, it is rarely applied at a watershed scale. By using the Coupled Human And Natural System (CHANS) model, it was found that the total nitrogen input to the Lake Tai watershed has increased from 141.1 Gg N yr−1 in 1995 to 244.3 Gg N yr−1 in 2010, and then decreased again to 201.2 Gg N yr−1 in 2015. The study findings are consistent with the change in the total nitrogen concentration observed in Lake Tai. While the per capita nitrogen footprint remained stable at around 30 kg N yr−1 before 2010, a substantial decrease to approximately 25 and 20 kg N yr−1 in 2010 and 2015, respectively, has occurred. Dominant sources of nitrogen emissions contributing to the nitrogen footprint gradually have changed from agricultural production to wastewater and nitrogen oxides emissions from fossil fuel combustion. A reduction of the nitrogen footprint is beneficial for effective nitrogen pollution control strategies and better wastewater treatment techniques should be prioritized for future policymaking.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0959-6526
Additional Keywords: water pollution, nitrogen footprint, agriculture, wastewater, land use, watershed, Lake Tai
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 23 Dec 2021 12:22 +0 (UTC)

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