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Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3297; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093297

Nitrate Vulnerable Zones Revision in Poland—Assessment of Environmental Impact and Land Use Conflicts

1
Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow 30-059, Poland
2
Section of Modeling Surface Water Quality, Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, 01-673 Warsaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract

Despite concerted efforts through the European territory, the problems of nitrogen pollution released from agricultural sources have not been resolved yet. Therefore, infringement cases are still open against a few Member States, including Poland, based on fulfilment problems of commitments regarding the Nitrate Directive. As a result of the litigation process, Poland has completely changed its approach to nitrate vulnerable zones. Instead of just selected areas, the measured actions will be implemented throughout the whole Polish territory. Additionally, further restrictions concerning the fertilizer use calendar will be introduced in areas indicated as extremely cold or hot, based on the average temperature distribution (poles of cold, and heat). Such a change will be of key importance to farmers, whose protests are already audible throughout the country, and can be expected to intensify. To assess the impact of the introduced modifications a modelling approach has been adopted. The use of the Macromodel DNS/SWAT allowed for the development of baseline and variant scenarios incorporating details of stipulated changes in the fertilizer use for a pilot catchment (Słupia River). The results clearly indicate that the new restriction will have a substantial effect on the aquatic environment by altering the amount of released total nitrogen. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrogen; agriculture; Nitrate Vulnerable Zones; macromodel DNS/SWAT nitrogen; agriculture; Nitrate Vulnerable Zones; macromodel DNS/SWAT
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Szalińska, E.; Orlińska-Woźniak, P.; Wilk, P. Nitrate Vulnerable Zones Revision in Poland—Assessment of Environmental Impact and Land Use Conflicts. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3297.

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