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The survey recommends 6 steps to improve water quality

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Nitrogen fertilizers are important for growing crops to feed the world, but over-application can pollute our water for decades. The new research provides six steps to tackle nutrient pollution and improve water quality.


Management tasks can seem wasteful and unattractive, as nitrogen lasts so long that it can take a long time to see the results.A study from the University of Waterloo that appears in Nature Geoscience It provides a roadmap for scientists, policy makers, and the general public to overcome the challenges associated with this legacy nitrogen and improve water quality more quickly.

Nandita Bass, a professor of global environmental science and civil environmental engineering at Waterloo and a leader in research, said: author. “This is a call for action to accept the existence of these heritage and understand how to use them for our benefit.”

This study recommends the following six steps:

  • Focusing on research, we quantify the length of time nitrogen stays in the ecosystem and adjust expectations for conservation timelines.
  • Find a way to use legacy nitrogen as a resource for growing crops instead of adding new ones Nitrogen fertilizer To our ecosystem that already contains high levels of nitrogen.
  • Instead of an extensive and comprehensive approach, we aim for conservation strategies for maximum water quality improvement.
  • It combines conservation methods that reduce the amount of nitrogen that is already left on farmlands, such as wetlands, and methods that harvest nitrogen from past heritage accumulated in the soil.
  • Water quality is monitored both on a large scale and on a small scale, with short-term results seen on a farmland-like scale and long-term results downstream. River basin You can also track it.
  • Incorporate both short-term and long-term cost-benefit analysis when assessing the economic impact of conservation strategies.

Nitrogen heritage varies around the world due to climate, historical land use and land management patterns. Although the theoretical knowledge of these heritage has existed for decades, measurement and surveillance are not widespread enough to understand and support these differences. water Quality policy with short-term expectations Water quality Improvement.

“It’s time to stop treatment nitrogen Design a heritage as an elephant in the room and a watershed management strategy that can address these heritage of the past, “Bass said.

The study “Managing Nitrogen Heritage to Accelerate Water Quality Improvement” was recently published online.


Fertilizers applied to fields today pollute water for decades


For more information:
Nandita B. Basu et al, Nitrogen Heritage Management to Accelerate Water Quality Improvement, Nature Geoscience (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41561-021-00889-9

Quote: The survey recommends 6 steps (February 14, 2022) to improve water quality obtained from https: //phys.org/news/2022-02-quality.html on February 14, 2022. doing.

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The survey recommends 6 steps to improve water quality

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