Because adequate nutrient controls were not established in the USA and other countries when there were past opportunities to do so, nutrient pollution of estuaries and coastal waters has resulted in the impairment of ecosystems and major reductions or collapse of fisheries at numerous sites around the world, resulting in major economic and societal impacts. The root problem is that political policies and processes have permitted municipalities, developers, industries and farmers to expand and operate without paying the full cost of their activities. Their expanded activities have occurred at the expense and displacement of those who rely on the productivity and recreational value of our estuarine and coastal waters. Some governments have developed remedial nutrient control programs, but most of them have been poorly conceived, under funded and inadequately enforced, resulting in small increments of progress that tend to be lost because of inadequate land use and immigration controls. It is proposed that establishment of comprehensive nutrient controls is needed throughout the world to preserve and protect estuarine and coastal waters, and to protect or re-establish fisheries, for both economic and societal stability. Nitrogen is the key nutrient for the establishment of control strategies. It is recommended that nutrient recovery from wastewaters and controlled reuse of both water and nutrients be widely implemented as a part of nutrient control strategies.
Research Article|March 01 2004
C.W. Randall; The environmental, economic and societal consequences of inadequate nitrogen pollution controls. Water Sci Technol 1 March 2004; 49 (5-6): 23–33. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2004.0733
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