Assessment of Economic and Water Quality Impacts of Land Use Change Using a Simple Bioeconomic Model
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- Bhattarai, G., Srivastava, P., Marzen, L. et al. Environmental Management (2008) 42: 122. doi:10.1007/s00267-008-9111-9
The objective of this study is to assess the economic and water quality impact of land use change in a small watershed in the Wiregrass region of Alabama. The study compares changes in water quality and revenue from agricultural and timber production due to changes in land use between years 1992 and 2001. The study was completed in two stages. In the first stage, a biophysical model was used to estimate the effect of land use change on nitrogen and phosphorus runoff and sediment deposition in the main channel; in the second stage, farm enterprise budgeting tools were used to estimate the economic returns for the changes in land use condition. Both biophysical and economic results are discussed, and a case for complex optimization to develop a decision support system is presented.