A high-resolution nutrient emission inventory for hotspot identification in the Yangtze River Basin

Li, J., Chen, Y., Cai, K., Fu, J., Ting, T., Chen, Y., Folberth, C. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6738-5238, & Liu, Y. (2022). A high-resolution nutrient emission inventory for hotspot identification in the Yangtze River Basin. Journal of Environmental Management 321 e115847. 10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.115847.

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Abstract

A high-resolution nutrient emission inventory can provide reliable and accurate identification of priority control areas, which is crucial for efficient decisions on water quality restoration. However, the inventories widely used in large-scale modeling are usually based on provincial inputs, which induce the challenges of lacking localized parameters and missing localized characteristic when provincial scale inputs are converted to finer scales with the down-scale methods. Based on elaborate investigations and statistical data at the county scale with multi-scale data conversion, the China Emission Inventory of Nutrients (CEIN) was developed with a spatial resolution of a 0.1° grid and sub-basin scales. The Yangtze River Basin was used as a case study to illustrate the potential applications of CEIN. The emissions of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) of Yangtze River Basin is 0.43 Mt and 0.04 Mt for point sources, 11.09 Mt and 4.64 Mt for diffuse sources in 2017. The hotspot analysis for 2606 sub-basins indicated that cropland is the key source of nutrient emissions, accounting for 58.88% and 79.15% of TN and TP, respectively. Industrial sewage and freshwater aquaculture accounted for 27.39% (TN) and 21.98% (TP) of the point sources, which is substantial due to their direct discharge into surface waters. The current results also reveal that, in contrast to CEIN, the previously used common emission factors based on GDP per capita produced considerable overestimations of 2.37 and 2.65 times the actual TN and TP emissions, respectively. Additional advantages of the CEIN have been demonstrated in identifying priority control areas more accurately with reduced bias and quantifying the effects of policies at much smaller scales. For example, the CEIN helps to distinguish hotspots, which was neglected when identifying sources at the level-III sub-basin scale, and indicates that the management of fractional areas (TN: 16.97%; TP: 13.44%) provides the highest nutrient emissions control (TN: 44.34%; TP: 48.65%) for the entire basin. The evaluation of China's toilet revolution policy demonstrates that achieving equitable access to safe sanitation has resulted in a reduction of 7240 t of TN and 833 t of TP, which is extremely critical for rural water quality and health.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0.1° grid; County scale; Hotspot analysis; Nutrient emission inventory; Yangtze river basin
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services (AFE)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2022 08:24
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2022 08:24
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/18167

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