Best management practices and nutrient reduction: an integrated economic-hydrological model of the western Lake Erie basin.

Published online
17 Jul 2020
Content type

Liu HongXing & Zhang WenDong & Irwin, E. & Kast, J. & Aloysius, N. & Martin, J. & Kalcic, M.
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Publication language
USA & Indiana & Michigan & Ohio


We develop the first spatially integrated economic-hydrological model of the western Lake Erie basin explicitly linking economic models of farmers' field-level Best Management Practice (BMP) adoption choices with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool model to evaluate nutrient management policy cost-effectiveness. We quantify tradeoffs among phosphorus reduction policies and find that a hybrid policy coupling a fertilizer tax with cost-share payments for subsurface placement is the most cost-effective, and when implemented with a 200% tax can achieve the stated policy goal of 40% reduction in nutrient loadings. We also find economic adoption models can overstate the potential for BMPs to reduce nutrient loadings by ignoring biophysical complexities.

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