River Basin Export Reduction Optimization Support Tool; a tool to screen options for reducing nutrient loads while minimizing cost

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Excess loading of nitrogen and phosphorus to river networks causes environmental harm, but reducing loads from large river basins is difficult and expensive. We developed a new tool, the River Basin Export Reduction Optimization Support Tool (RBEROST) to identify the least-cost combinations of management practices that will reduce nutrient loading to target levels in downstream and mid-network waterbodies. We demonstrate the utility of the tool in a case study in the Upper Connecticut River Basin in New England, USA. The total project cost of optimized lowest-cost plans ranged from $18.0 million to $41.0 million per year over 15 years depending on user specifications. Plans include both point source and non-point source management practices, and most costs are associated with urban stormwater practices. Adding a 2% margin of safety to loading targets improved the estimated probability of success from 37.5% to 99%. The large spatial scale of RBEROST, and the consideration of both point and non-point source contributions of nutrients, make it well suited as an initial screening tool in watershed planning.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chamberlin, C; ten Brink, M; Munson, K; Le, A; Detenbeck, N

Published Date

  • February 1, 2023

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 59 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 178 - 196

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1752-1688

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1093-474X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/1752-1688.13070

Citation Source

  • Scopus