A nitrogen decision support system in the form of a game (NitroGenius) was developed for the Second International Nitrogen Conference. The aims were to: i) improve understanding among scientists and policy makers about the complexity of nitrogen pollution problems in an area of intensive agricultural, industrial, and transportation activity (The Netherlands); and ii) search for optimal policy solutions to prevent pollution effects at lowest economic and social costs. NitroGenius includes a model of nitrogen flows at relevant spatial and temporal scales including emissions of ammonia and nitrogen oxides and contamination of surface- and groundwaters. NitroGenius also includes an economic model describing relationships for important sectors and impacts of different nitrogen control measures on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), unemployment, energy use, and environmental costs. About 50 teams played NitroGenius during the Second International Nitrogen Conference. The results show that careful planning and selection of abatement options can solve Dutch nitrogen problems at reasonable cost.
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Vol. 31 • No. 2