Cost effective solutions to manage nutrient pollution in the Yangtze
Have you ever wondered why the water in some rivers appear to be green? The green tinge you see is due to eutrophication, which means that too many nutrients – specifically nitrogen and phosphorus – are present in the water. This happens because rivers receive these nutrients from various land-based activities, like run-off from agricultural fields and sewage effluents from cities.Too many nutrients cause algae blooms. These algae blooms are not only harmful for fish and other marine life, but are also toxic for people when they eat seafood from these rivers. Moreover, polluted river water is unfit for direct use as drinking water or any of our other daily needs.
To better understand and address these issues, Maryna Strokal worked with colleagues from IIASA, Wageningen University, and China to develop an integrated approach to identify cost-effective solutions (read cheapest) to reduce river pollution and thus coastal eutrophication. Their integrated approach takes into account human activities on land, land use, the economy, the climate, and hydrology. The new approach was implemented for the Yangtze Basin in China.
Millions of farmers depend on meltwater from Himalaya glaciers
Around 129 million farmers depend on meltwater from the Himalayan glaciers for their crop production and livelihoods. This is shown by an international group of researchers from Wageningen University & Research and Utrecht University, among others, in a new study published in Nature Sustainability today. A Science Advances paper last month, already showed that glaciers were melting at a higher rate in the last twenty years than in the same period before.Read more
The wet feet of soy farmers in Argentina
As one of the largest soy bean producers in the world, Argentina is worthy case study to look at the effects of climate change on soy production. Wouter Smolenaars researched the effect of floods on soy bean farmers in his master thesis using climate data analysis and on-site interviews with the farmers.Read more
Rethinking water scarcity: quality matters
Current assessments of water scarcity primarily focus on water quantity. But as water quality issues are prevalent worldwide, we need to rethink the concept of water scarcity to include also the quality of freshwater resources available for different water use sectors and ecosystems. In today’s issue of Nature Geoscience Michelle van Vliet (chair group Water Systems and Global Change) and colleagues propose a new approach to estimating water scarcity that includes relevant water quality requirements per sector.Read more