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We examine in a dynamic framework how public resources should be allocated to small-scale water protection efforts in agriculture or alternatively to investments in large-scale waste water treatment plants to control point source loads. The building of waste water treatment capacity is characterized by high set-up costs as compared to the operating costs. We determine the optimal timing of investment, the rate of nutrient load reduction from point versus non-point sources, and the optimal switching policies from control of non-point pollution only to control of both non-point and point sources. The results of the analytical model are illustrated with simulation of optimal abatement policies for the Finnish coastal waters in the Gulf of Finland.


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