Developing a cost-effective technique to assess denitrification processes and end products in shallow groundwaters
Project Details Ngā taipitopito
Collaborators Ngā haumi
GNS Science | Horizons Regional Council | Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research | Massey University | Waikato Regional Council
Denitrification is the natural process of soil bacteria converting nitrate back into atmospheric nitrogen gas. This process could reduce (attenuate) the environmentally damaging impacts of nitrate leached from farms to freshwater.
It is important that the denitrification process is complete, because incomplete denitrification can release nitrous oxide (N2O, a harmful greenhouse gas) rather than dinitrogen (N2, a harmless gas making up 78% of the atmosphere).
Benign Denitrification in Groundwaters research developed a catchment-scale model to assess denitrification processes and end products (nitrous oxide and/or dinitrogen) in shallow groundwaters in the Manawatu and Rangitikei river catchments (located in the lower part of the North Island, New Zealand).
This conceptual model could be developed into a method to map and effectively utilise complete benign denitrification capacity at the farm scale, to help achieve environmentally friendly dairy farming across agricultural landscapes.