Activity Analysis and the Management of Resources: A Model for Control of Eutrophication.

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Modeling of the Eutrophication Process


E. J. Middlebrooks, D. H. Falkenborg, T. E. Maloney


Ann Arbor Science Publishers

Publication Date



A model incorporating phosphorus using activities, the relationship between phosphorus loading and eutrophication (Vollenweider, 1968) and the direct costs of treating phosphorus to reduce phosphorus input to surface water was developed. The model can be applied to any region or river basin using rather easily obtainable data. Using Lake Erie as an example, changes in phosphorus input as a result of various management tactics resulted in changes in relative eutrophication. Treatment costs associated with management strategies were related to effectiveness in controlling eutrophication, and the use of cost effectiveness analysis for selecting the most comprehensive set of management factors was demonstrated. The use of activity analysis to control the effects of particular resources, in this case phosphorus, is a reasonable approach. Management of a resource rather than treatment alone should be instituted when the real costs of management controls are less than the treatment costs saved or avoided. In Lake Erie use of management controls can result in significant treatment cost saving and thus implementation of controls appears feasible. A combination of management controls and treatment processes can result in lowering eutrophication levels to somewhere in the mesotrophic range, at least, with respect to phosphorus loading.

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