Six steps to improve our water quality

“We have to think about the legacy we leave behind,” said Nandita Basu, professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering at Waterloo and lead author of the study. strategically for the future from both a scientific and socioeconomic perspective.

Research from the University of Waterloo recommends the following six steps to improve water quality:

    Focused research to quantify how long nitrogen stays in our ecosystems to adjust our expectations for conservation timelines.

    Find ways to use old nitrogen as a resource to grow crops instead of adding new nitrogen fertilizers.

    Target conservation strategies for maximum water quality improvement instead of an inclusive approach.

    Incorporating conservation methods harvest nitrogen from past legacies accumulated in the soil.

    Monitor water quality at both large and small scales so that short-term results at the field scale can be seen, and long-term results downstream of river basins can also be monitored.

    When assessing the economic impacts of conservation strategies, incorporate both short- and long-term cost-benefit analysis.


Nitrogen heritage sites vary around the world depending on climate and land use history as well as land management patterns.

While theoretical knowledge of these legacies has existed for decades, measurements and monitoring are still not widespread enough to understand these differences and support water quality policies where There is still hope to improve water quality in the short term.

It’s time we stop treating nitrogenous legacies like the elephant in the room and design watershed management strategies that can address these past legacies.

Source: Medindia

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