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Abstract

Nitrate contamination of municipal and domestic well water supplies is becoming an increasing problem in many rural and urban areas, raising the cost of providing safe drinking water. The objective of this paper is to describe a marketable permit scheme that can effectively manage nitrate pollution of groundwater supplies for communities in rural areas without hindering agricultural production in watersheds. They key to implementing this scheme is being able to link nitrate leaching from nitrogen fertilizer applied to crops at a farm to nitrate levels measured at a drinking water well.

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