Integrated Assessment of Nitrogen Resource Management in Songyuan,China
Due to the extensive use of nitrogen fertilizer in China, excess nitrogen has been discharged into groundwater, rivers, and the air, contributing to environmental problems such as eutrophication and the generation of greenhouse gases. In this research, an inter-industry analysis method and linear programming were used to design and assess integrated nitrogen resource management policies for Songyuan city, China. An inter-industry model was constructed using nitrogen mass balance. Based on our simulation results, we suggest optimal policies of integrated nitrogen resource management to support sustainable economic development in Songyuan city. We propose to increase organic fertilizer use instead of chemical fertilizer application within 4% along with installing a maximum of 16 units of biomass methane fermentation/power generation technologies in the city. These comprehensive policies would reduce nitrogen discharges by 513 thousand tons and create a net social benefit of 1,453 million yuan, accounting for about 1.5% of the region’s gross regional product for 2010. The Chinese government should focus on efficient use of nitrogen resources in its agriculture and livestock industries by reducing chemical fertilizer application and increasing organic fertilizer.
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