BALTCOST is a non-linear optimization model developed collaboratively by natural scientists and economists.

It features abatement cost and effect functions used to identify cost-effective distribution of nutrient abatement measures between drainage basins in the Baltic Sea.


For more information contact:

* Berit Hasler

BALTCOST and the Baltic Sea Action Plan

BALTCOST has been use to, in scientific papers, identify cost-effective measures for reductions of N and P loads for seven regions in the Baltic of the Baltic Sea Action Plan.

The model results also show the distribution of abatement measures and the distribution of costs between countries for obtaining the reduction targets to the Baltic Sea sea regions.

Using high resolution bio-physical data

A major novelty of BALTCOST is its utilization of bio-physical data at spatial resolutions down to 10*10 km2 grid cell scale (18377 grid cells across the complete Baltic drainage basin).

Using data these bio-physical data as well as economic data on prices the model incorporates abatement costs and effect functions, nutrient retentions and abatement capacity constraints for 6 different N and/or P abatement measures in each of 22 main Baltic drainage basins (each of which comprise between 1 and 16 smaller sub catchments, of which there are 117 in total).

Combining abatement measures

The six abatement measures modeled in BALTCOST are:

  • Reductions in fertilizer applications to arable crops (N abatement)
  • Catch crops under spring-sown cereals (N abatement)
  • Reductions in numbers of pig (N & P abatement)
  • Reductions in numbers of cattle (N & P abatement)
  • Restoring wetlands on agricultural soils (N & P abatement)
  • Improving wastewater treatment (N & P abatement)

Once a cost-effective distribution of abatement measures at drainage basin resolution has been obtained, the underlying 10*10 km2 resolution bio-physical data makes it possible to estimate the distribution of abatement measures within drainage basins.

The high resolution also provides an opportunity to investigate the relevance of high spatial resolution retention estimation in developing trans-national policies for water quality management.

Projects in which BALTCOST has been used:

RECOCA-project - Reduction of Baltic Sea Nutrient Inputs and Cost Allocation within the Baltic Sea Catchment

BalticSTERN-project - Cost Benefit Analysis of the Baltic Sea

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Web editor: Marmar Nekoro

Updated: 2014-06-05
Baltic Nest Institute Sweden
Baltic Sea Centre, Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden, +46-8-16 37 18
Baltic Nest Institute Denmark
Aarhus University, Fredriksborgsvej 399
DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark, +45 4630 1200
Baltic Nest Institute Finland
Finnish Environment Institute, P.O. Box 140
FI-00251 Helsinki, Finland, + 358 20 610 123