Aksana Chyzheuskaya

B. Econ.Sc., M.Econ.Sc.

PhD student NUI Galway


Aksana Chyzheuskaya first studied economics at NUI Galway in 2005 as a masters student. She began her PhD research on productivity growth differentials between countries under the supervision of Dr. Alan Ahearne in 2007. In 2008 she linked with Teagasc as a Walsh Fellow to conduct PhD research on Water Framework Directive implementation. She is currently a research officer in Teagasc. Aksana's primary research interests are environmental economics, economics of water pollution, agricultural economics, microsimulation modelling, macroeconomic modelling, bio-economic modelling, and policy evaluation.

Economics of Water Framework Directive implementation: the impact on farm income

This thesis consists of the six separate yet connected in the common topic papers. The second chapter is an essay of the water quality and water pollution in the broad sense. It was written on the basis of the theoretical literature review with the purpose to understand what is meant by water quality and water pollution. What indicators are used by stakeholders to judge about the quality of the water and/or aquatic environment? What are the signs of the water pollution? What are the sources of the pollution in the aquatic environment and what measures can ne introduced to mitigate the pollution? These questions are answered in the second chapter of the thesis.

The third chapter of the thesis is an econometric analysis of the key drivers of water quality levels in Irish river systems by combining data from EPA water quality monitoring stations with spatially referenced information on the river catchments, information from the Irish census of agriculture, septic tank density data and population density data in a Geographical Information System (GIS) framework. The main factors associated with water quality in Irish rivers are assessed using an ordered probit model.

The fourth chapter introduces a model that allows the simulation of impacts associated with policy responses such as the change in N production and in farm income at the farm level. The model aids the assessment of the economic impact of N mitigation measures in Ireland. Within the microsimulation framework, econometric estimations are employed with a view to simulating the economic impact of the N pollution reduction measures on dairy farm income in Ireland. As a case study, the two mitigation measures that have previously been assessed by Hennessy et al. (2005) and Fezzi et al. (2010) are considered, namely: 1) a stocking rate reduction to achieve a maximum organic nitrogen of 170 kg/ha; 2) a 20% stocking rate reduction.

In Chapter 5 the cost-effectiveness of different farm level N mitigation measures is compared through calculating Marginal Abatement Costs displaying the cost of each N unit reduction for each measure. This paper also attempts to fill the gap in existing research literature and provide policy-makers with economic analysis to aid in the decision-making process concerning policies for the agricultural sector. An economic impact of the possible N mitigation strategies is estimated and the measures are then ranked according to their cost effectiveness. The micro and aggregate MAC curves are also constructed.

In Chapter 6 the sensitivity of the marginal abatement costs associated with various mitigation measures for reducing N pollution to changing agricultural prices is calculated. To date, most of the concerns about price volatility are related to the potential negative effects on consumer welfare especially in poorer households from rising food prices. This paper instead explores the effect of price volatility on MACC analysis. In particular the study highlights that the assessment and in turn the ranking of mitigation measures will depend on the commodity and input prices prevailing in the particular period when the analysis is conducted.

Chapter 7 is a case study. The costs associated with protecting an endangered species is estimated- namely the freshwater pearl mussels (FWPM) Margaritifera Margaritifera and Margaritifera Duravensis. These mussels are protected under the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), the Wildlife Acts (1976, amended 2000) and the Water Framework Directive. The presence of these pearl mussels in their natural habitat of fresh water rivers has been used as an indicator of water quality and the declining numbers of once abundant fresh water pearl mussels is one of the indicators of declining water quality and the need for habitat protection policy in Ireland. This mollusc is not only a very sensitive organism that signals the water pollution problem but is a unique and endangered species that has to be preserved for future generations. However, protecting endangered species is a costly business, which is confirmed in the study.

Keywords water pollution, WFD implementation, agriculture, nitrogen pollution, marginal abatement cost curves, microsimulation modelling


  • Dr. Cathal O'Donoghue

PhD research funding

  • Teagasc Walsh PhD fellowship

Head of Economics

Prof Alan Ahearne

Contact Economics

t:+353 91 492501/492177

e: economics@nuigalway.ie