Human waste: An underestimated source of nutrient pollution in coastal seas of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan

Md Nurul Amin*, Carolien Kroeze, Maryna Strokal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many people practice open defecation in south Asia. As a result, lot of human waste containing nutrients such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) enter rivers. Rivers transport these nutrients to coastal waters, resulting in marine pollution. This source of nutrient pollution is, however, ignored in many nutrient models. We quantify nutrient export by large rivers to coastal seas of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and the associated eutrophication potential in 2000 and 2050. Our new estimates for N and P inputs from human waste are one to two orders of magnitude higher than earlier model calculations. This leads to higher river export of nutrients to coastal seas, increasing the risk of coastal eutrophication potential (ICEP). The newly calculated future ICEP, for instance, Godavori river is 3 times higher than according to earlier studies. Our modeling approach is simple and transparent and can easily be applied to other data-poor basins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-140
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume118
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Coastal water pollution
  • Human waste
  • Nutrient models, coastal eutrophication
  • Open defecation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Human waste: An underestimated source of nutrient pollution in coastal seas of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this