Crowder, Bradley M.; And Others
Agriculture generates byproducts that may contribute to the contamination of the United States' water supply. Any effective regulations to ban or restrict agricultural chemical or land use practices in order to improve water quality will affect the farm economy. Some farmers will benefit; some will not. Most agricultural pollutants reach surface…
The eutrophication of aquatic systems due to diffuse pollution of agricultural phosphorus (P) is a local, even regional, water quality problem that can be found world-wide. Sustainable management of P requires prudent tempering of agronomic practices, recognizing that additional steps are often requ...
Sylvester, Marc A.
High incidences of mortality, birth defects, and reproductive failure in waterfowl using Kesterson Reservoir in the San Joaquin Valley, Calif., have occurred because of the bioaccumulation of selenium from irrigation drainage. These circumstances have prompted concern about the quality of agriculture drainage and its potential effects on human health, fish and wildlife, and beneficial uses of water. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California (Berkeley, Calif.) organized a 1-day session at the 1986 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Calif., to provide an interdisciplinary forum for hydrologists, geochemists, and aquatic chemists to discuss the processes controlling the distribution, mobilization, transport, and fate of trace elements in source rocks, soils, water, and biota in semiarid regions in which irrigated agriculture occurs. The focus of t h e session was the presentation of research results on the source, distribution, movement, and fate of selenium in agricultural drainage.
Abunnour, Mohamed Ali; Hashim, Noorazuan Bin Md.; Jaafar, Mokhtar Bin
Water scarcity, unequal population distribution and agricultural activities increased in the coastal plains, and the probability of seawater intrusion with ground water. According to this, the quantitative and qualitative deterioration of underground water quality has become a potential for the occurrence, in addition to the decline in agricultural production in the study area. This paper aims to discover the use of ground water for irrigation in agriculture and their suitability and compatibility for agricultural. On the other hand, the quality is determines by the cultivated crops. 16 random samples of regular groundwater are collected and analyzed chemically. Questionnaires are also distributed randomly on regular basis to farmers.
Mellander, Per-Erik; Jordan, Phil; Shore, Mairead; McDonald, Noeleen; Shortle, Ger
Influences such as weather, flow controls and lag time play an important role in the processes influencing the water quality of agricultural catchments. In particular weather signals need to be clearly considered when interpreting the effectiveness of current measures for reducing nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses from agricultural sources to water bodies. In north-western Europe weather patterns and trends are influenced by large-scale systems such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the position of the Gulf Stream, the latter expressed as the Gulf Stream North Wall index (GSNW index). Here we present five years of monthly data of nitrate-N concentration in stream water and groundwater (aggregated from sub-hourly monitoring in the stream outlet and monthly sampling in multilevel monitoring wells) from four agricultural catchments (ca. 10 km2) together with monitored weather parameters, long-term weather data and the GSNW index. The catchments are situated in Ireland on the Atlantic seaboard and are susceptible to sudden and seasonal shifts in oceanic climate patterns. Rain anomalies and soil moisture deficit dynamics were similar to the dynamics of the GSNW index. There were monitored changes in nitrate-N concentration in both groundwater and surface water with no apparent connection to agricultural management; instead such changes also appeared to follow the GSNW index. For example, in catchments with poorly drained soils and a 'flashy hydrology' there were seasonal dynamics in nitrate-N concentration that correlated with the seasonal dynamics of the GSNW index. In a groundwater driven catchment there was a consistent increase in nitrate-N concentration over the monitored period which may be the result of increasingly more recharge in summer and autumn (as indicated by more flux in the GSNW index). The results highlight that the position of the Gulf Stream may influence the nitrate-N concentration in groundwater and stream water and there is a risk
Agricultural hydrology and water quality is a multidisciplinary field devoted to understanding the interrelationship between modern agriculture and water resources. This paper summarizes a featured collection of 10 manuscripts emanating from the 2013 American Water Resources Association Specialty Co...
Assouline, Shmuel; Russo, David; Silber, Avner; Or, Dani
The challenge of meeting the projected doubling of global demand for food by 2050 is monumental. It is further exacerbated by the limited prospects for land expansion and rapidly dwindling water resources. A promising strategy for increasing crop yields per unit land requires the expansion of irrigated agriculture and the harnessing of water sources previously considered "marginal" (saline, treated effluent, and desalinated water). Such an expansion, however, must carefully consider potential long-term risks on soil hydroecological functioning. The study provides critical analyses of use of marginal water and management approaches to map out potential risks. Long-term application of treated effluent (TE) for irrigation has shown adverse impacts on soil transport properties, and introduces certain health risks due to the persistent exposure of soil biota to anthropogenic compounds (e.g., promoting antibiotic resistance). The availability of desalinated water (DS) for irrigation expands management options and improves yields while reducing irrigation amounts and salt loading into the soil. Quantitative models are used to delineate trends associated with long-term use of TE and DS considering agricultural, hydrological, and environmental aspects. The primary challenges to the sustainability of agroecosystems lies with the hazards of saline and sodic conditions, and the unintended consequences on soil hydroecological functioning. Multidisciplinary approaches that combine new scientific knowhow with legislative, economic, and societal tools are required to ensure safe and sustainable use of water resources of different qualities. The new scientific knowhow should provide quantitative models for integrating key biophysical processes with ecological interactions at appropriate spatial and temporal scales.
Agricultural drainage ditches are essential for the removal of surface and ground water to allow for crop production in poorly drained agricultural landscapes. Ditches also mediate the flow of pollutants from agroecosystems to downstream water bodies. This paper provides an overview of the science, ...
Wilcock, Robert; Elliott, Sandy; Hudson, Neale; Parkyn, Stephanie; Quinn, John
New Zealand is unique in that half of its national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory derives from agriculture--predominantly as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), in a 2:1 ratio. The remaining GHG emissions predominantly comprise carbon dioxide (CO2) deriving from energy and industry sources. Proposed strategies to mitigate emissions of CH4 and N2O from pastoral agriculture in New Zealand are: (1) utilising extensive and riparian afforestation of pasture to achieve CO2 uptake (carbon sequestration); (2) management of nitrogen through budgeting and/or the use of nitrification inhibitors, and minimizing soil anoxia to reduce N2O emissions; and (3) utilisation of alternative waste treatment technologies to minimise emissions of CH4. These mitigation measures have associated co-benefits and co-costs (disadvantages) for rivers, streams and lakes because they affect land use, runoff loads, and receiving water and habitat quality. Extensive afforestation results in lower specific yields (exports) of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), suspended sediment (SS) and faecal matter and also has benefits for stream habitat quality by improving stream temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH regimes through greater shading, and the supply of woody debris and terrestrial food resources. Riparian afforestation does not achieve the same reductions in exports as extensive afforestation but can achieve reductions in concentrations of N, P, SS and faecal organisms. Extensive afforestation of pasture leads to reduced water yields and stream flows. Both afforestation measures produce intermittent disturbances to waterways during forestry operations (logging and thinning), resulting in sediment release from channel re-stabilisation and localised flooding, including formation of debris dams at culverts. Soil and fertiliser management benefits aquatic ecosystems by reducing N exports but the use of nitrification inhibitors, viz. dicyandiamide (DCD), to achieve this may under some circumstances
Agricultural drainage ditches are essential for draining storm and subsurface water from farmland on the Delmarva Peninsula. Ditches are unique ecosystems, having the features of both streams and wetlands. Ditches often provide the only wetland and aquatic habitats on farmland. Ditches carry, store,...
In the Mississippi Delta, agricultural activity is a major source of nonpoint source (NPS) pollutants. Sediment, nutrients and pesticides have been considered as priority NPS pollutants and greatly affect the water quality in this area. The impacts of agricultural activities on water quality in oxbo...
Reba, M. L.; Daniels, M.; Chen, Y.; Sharpley, A.; Teague, T. G.; Bouldin, J.
A network of agricultural monitoring sites was established in 2010 in Arkansas. The state of Arkansas produces the most rice of any state in the US, the 3rd most cotton and the 3rd most broilers. By 2050, agriculture will be asked to produce food, feed, and fiber for the increasing world population. Arkansas agriculture is challenged with reduced water availability from groundwater decline and the associated increase in pumping costs. Excess nutrients, associated in part to agriculture, influence the hypoxic condition in the Gulf of Mexico. All sites in the network are located at the edge-of-field in an effort to relate management to water quantity and water quality. The objective of the network is to collect scientifically sound data at field scales under typical and innovative management for the region. Innovative management for the network includes, but is not limited to, variable rate fertilizer, cover crops, buffer strips, irrigation water management, irrigation planning, pumping plant monitoring and seasonal shallow water storage. Data collection at the sites includes quantifying water inputs and losses, and water quality. Measured water quality parameters include sediment and dissolved nitrate, nitrite and orthophosphate. The measurements at the edge-of-field will be incorporated into the monitoring of field ditches and larger drainage systems to result in a 3-tiered monitoring effort. Partners in the creation of this network include USDA-ARS, Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, USDA-NRCS and agricultural producers representing the major commodities of the state of Arkansas. The network is described in detail with preliminary results presented.
Watershed-scale management efforts to improve conservation of water resources in agricultural watersheds depend upon the effectiveness of integrated multiple agricultural best management practices at this scale. This requires large-scale, long-term (>10 y) studies measuring key water quality paramet...
Bruce, Breton W.; Becker, Mark F.; Pope, Larry M.; Gurdak, Jason J.
In 1999 and 2000, 30 water-quality monitoring wells were installed in the central High Plains aquifer to evaluate the quality of recently recharged ground water in areas of irrigated agriculture and to identify the factors affecting ground-water quality. Wells were installed adjacent to irrigated agricultural fields with 10- or 20-foot screened intervals placed near the water table. Each well was sampled once for about 100 waterquality constituents associated with agricultural practices. Water samples from 70 percent of the wells (21 of 30 sites) contained nitrate concentrations larger than expected background concentrations (about 3 mg/L as N) and detectable pesticides. Atrazine or its metabolite, deethylatrazine, were detected with greater frequency than other pesticides and were present in all 21 samples where pesticides were detected. The 21 samples with detectable pesticides also contained tritium concentrations large enough to indicate that at least some part of the water sample had been recharged within about the last 50 years. These 21 ground-water samples are considered to show water-quality effects related to irrigated agriculture. The remaining 9 groundwater samples contained no pesticides, small tritium concentrations, and nitrate concentrations less than 3.45 milligrams per liter as nitrogen. These samples are considered unaffected by the irrigated agricultural land-use setting. Nitrogen isotope ratios indicate that commercial fertilizer was the dominant source of nitrate in 13 of the 21 samples affected by irrigated agriculture. Nitrogen isotope ratios for 4 of these 21 samples were indicative of an animal waste source. Dissolved-solids concentrations were larger in samples affected by irrigated agriculture, with large sulfate concentrations having strong correlation with large dissolved solids concentrations in these samples. A strong statistical correlation is shown between samples affected by irrigated agriculture and sites with large rates of
Zhang, Yan; Gao, Xiang; Zhang, Hong
In order to discuss the association between the water quality of Chaohu Lake and the resources input in agriculture of the basin, factors that may affect the lake eutrophication are chosen, such as surplus fertilizer, irrigated area with saved water, agricultural films, water and soil loss control and so on. The methods of correlation analysis and stepwise regression are used. Furthermore, a new method, combined with the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method, calculating the surplus fertilizer is designed. The results indicate that among various resources input in agriculture of the basin the surplus fertilizer, irrigated area with saved water and agricultural films have a great influence on Chaohu Lake eutrophication. And one year's lag phase between the water quality of Chaohu Lake and the surplus fertilizer is confirmed. Therefore, it is necessary to raise the utilization efficiency of fertilizer, to improve the irrigation way and to decrease the agricultural water consumption in order to conserve resources and to reduce the influence of agricultural production on the water quality of Chaohu Lake. PMID:23243852
van Oel, P. R.; Alfredo, K. A.; Russo, T. A.
Sustainable water management typically emphasizes water resource quantity, with focus directed at availability and use practices. When attention is placed on sustainable water quality management, the holistic, cross-sector perspective inherent to sustainability is often lost. Proper water quality management is a critical component of sustainable development practices. However, sustainable development definitions and metrics related to water quality resilience and management are often not well defined; water quality is often buried in large indicator sets used for analysis, and the policy regulating management practices create sector specific burdens for ensuring adequate water quality. In this research, we investigated the methods by which water quality is evaluated through internationally applied indicators and incorporated into the larger idea of "sustainability." We also dissect policy's role in the distribution of responsibility with regard to water quality management in the United States through evaluation of three broad sectors: urban, agriculture, and environmental water quality. Our research concludes that despite a growing intention to use a single system approach for urban, agricultural, and environmental water quality management, one does not yet exist and is even hindered by our current policies and regulations. As policy continues to lead in determining water quality and defining contamination limits, new regulation must reconcile the disparity in requirements for the contaminators and those performing end-of-pipe treatment. Just as the sustainable development indicators we researched tried to integrate environmental, economic, and social aspects without skewing focus to one of these three categories, policy cannot continue to regulate a single sector of society without considering impacts to the entire watershed and/or region. Unequal distribution of the water pollution burden creates disjointed economic growth, infrastructure development, and policy
As European nations move toward compliance with the EU Water Framework Directive, national efforts to manage and regulate agricultural impacts on water quality in the US can provide useful guidance. Concentration of livestock and poultry production in the US has changed the distribution of nutrient...
As European nations move toward compliance with the EU Water Framework Directive, national efforts to manage and regulate agricultural impacts on water quality in the US can provide useful guidance. Concentration of livestock and poultry production in the US has changed the distribution of nutrient...
Mehdi, B. B.; Ludwig, R.; Lehner, B.
Land use scenarios are of primordial importance when implementing a hydrological model for the purpose of determining the future quality of water in a watershed. This paper provides the background for researching potential agricultural land use changes that may take place in a mesoscale watershed, for water quality research, and describes why studying the farm scale is important. An on-going study in Bavaria examining the local drivers of change in land use is described.
Scanlon, B.R.; Jolly, I.; Sophocleous, M.; Zhang, L.
 Past land use changes have greatly impacted global water resources, with often opposing effects on water quantity and quality. Increases in rain-fed cropland (460%) and pastureland (560%) during the past 300 years from forest and grasslands decreased evapotranspiration and increased recharge (two orders of magnitude) and streamflow (one order of magnitude). However, increased water quantity degraded water quality by mobilization of salts, salinization caused by shallow water tables, and fertilizer leaching into underlying aquifers that discharge to streams. Since the 1950s, irrigated agriculture has expanded globally by 174%, accounting for ???90% of global freshwater consumption. Irrigation based on surface water reduced streamflow and raised water tables resulting in waterlogging in many areas (China, India, and United States). Marked increases in groundwater-fed irrigation in the last few decades in these areas has lowered water tables (???1 m/yr) and reduced streamflow. Degradation of water quality in irrigated areas has resulted from processes similar to those in rain-fed agriculture: salt mobilization, salinization in waterlogged areas, and fertilizer leaching. Strategies for remediating water resource problems related to agriculture often have opposing effects on water quantity and quality. Long time lags (decades to centuries) between land use changes and system response (e.g., recharge, streamflow, and water quality), particularly in semiarid regions, mean that the full impact of land use changes has not been realized in many areas and remediation to reverse impacts will also take a long time. Future land use changes should consider potential impacts on water resources, particularly trade-offs between water, salt, and nutrient balances, to develop sustainable water resources to meet human and ecosystem needs. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Declining surface water quality from agricultural nonpoint sources is of great concern across the Platte river basin in Nebraska. Recent changes in the earth climate create abrupt changes in domestic weather (i.e., precipitation, temperature, etc.) which can alter the impact of these nonpoint source...
In this paper, we discuss the importance of developing integrated assessment models to support the design and implementation of policies to address water quality problems associated with agricultural pollution. We describe a new modelling system, LUMINATE, which links land use decisions made at the...
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit (PSWMRU) has developed a long-term water quality database to support water quality research within the 7.3 km**2 WE-38 experimental watershed in east-central Pennsyl...
Taylor, Sam D; He, Yi; Hiscock, Kevin M
Agricultural diffuse water pollution remains a notable global pressure on water quality, posing risks to aquatic ecosystems, human health and water resources and as a result legislation has been introduced in many parts of the world to protect water bodies. Due to their efficiency and cost-effectiveness, water quality models have been increasingly applied to catchments as Decision Support Tools (DSTs) to identify mitigation options that can be introduced to reduce agricultural diffuse water pollution and improve water quality. In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied to the River Wensum catchment in eastern England with the aim of quantifying the long-term impacts of potential changes to agricultural management practices on river water quality. Calibration and validation were successfully performed at a daily time-step against observations of discharge, nitrate and total phosphorus obtained from high-frequency water quality monitoring within the Blackwater sub-catchment, covering an area of 19.6 km(2). A variety of mitigation options were identified and modelled, both singly and in combination, and their long-term effects on nitrate and total phosphorus losses were quantified together with the 95% uncertainty range of model predictions. Results showed that introducing a red clover cover crop to the crop rotation scheme applied within the catchment reduced nitrate losses by 19.6%. Buffer strips of 2 m and 6 m width represented the most effective options to reduce total phosphorus losses, achieving reductions of 12.2% and 16.9%, respectively. This is one of the first studies to quantify the impacts of agricultural mitigation options on long-term water quality for nitrate and total phosphorus at a daily resolution, in addition to providing an estimate of the uncertainties of those impacts. The results highlighted the need to consider multiple pollutants, the degree of uncertainty associated with model predictions and the risk of
Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on flooding in the UK, inducing more intense and prolonged storms. Frequent flooding due to climate change already exacerbates catchment water quality. Land use is another contributing factor to poor water quality. For example, the move to intensive farming could cause an increase in faecal coliforms entering the water courses. In an effort to understand better the effects on water quality from land use and climate change, the hydrological and estuarine processes are being modelled using SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool), linked to a 2-D hydrodynamic model DIVAST(Depth Integrated Velocity and Solute Transport). The coupled model is able to quantify how much of each pollutant from the catchment reaches the harbour and the impact on water quality within the harbour. The work is focused on the transportation and decay of faecal coliforms from agricultural runoff into the rivers Frome and Piddle in the UK. The impact from the agricultural land use and activities on the catchment river hydrology and water quality are evaluated. The coupled model calibration and validation showed the good model performance on flow and faecal coliform in the watershed and estuary.
Darwiche-Criado, Nadia; Jiménez, Juan José; Comín, Francisco A; Sorando, Ricardo; Sánchez-Pérez, José Miguel
A detailed understanding of the study area is essential to achieve key information and optimize the monitoring, analysis, and evaluation of water quality of natural ecosystems that have been highly transformed into agricultural areas. Using classification techniques like the hierarchical cluster analysis (CA) and partial triadic analysis (PTA), we assessed the sources of water pollution and the seasonal influence of human activities in water composition in a river basin from northeastern Spain. The results suggested that a strong connection existed between water quality and the seasonality of the human activities. The CA showed the spatial relationship between water chemistry and the adjacent land uses. The PTA associated the analyzed variables to their pollutant source. Electrical conductivity (EC), Cl(-), SO4(2-)-S, Na(+), and Mg(2+) ions were related with agricultural sources, whereas NH4(+)-N, PT, and PO4(3-)-P were linked with urban polluted sites. Concentration of NO3(-)-N was associated with urban land use. Differences in water composition according to the irrigation intensity were also found during the irrigation season. The statistical tools used in this work, especially the PTA, allowed us to jointly analyze the spatial and seasonal components of water pollutant trends. We obtained a more comprehensive knowledge of water quality patterns in the study area, which will be essential when taking measures to minimize the effects of water pollution. PMID:26429137
Christensen, Victoria G.; Lee, Kathy E.; McLees, James M.; Niemela, Scott L.
The relative importance of agricultural land retirement on water quality and aquatic-community health was investigated in the Minnesota River Basin. Eighty-two sites, with drainage areas ranging from 4.3 to 2200 km2, were examined for nutrient concentrations, measures of aquatic-community health (e.g., fish index of biotic integrity [IBI] scores), and environmental factors (e.g., drainage area and amount of agricultural land retirement). The relation of proximity of agricultural land retirement to the stream was determined by calculating the land retirement percent in various riparian zones. Spearman's rho results indicated that IBI score was not correlated to the percentage of agricultural land retirement at the basin scale (p = 0.070); however, IBI score was correlated to retired land percentage in the 50- to 400-m riparian zones surrounding the streams (p < 0.05), indicating that riparian agricultural land retirement may have more influence on aquatic-community health than does agricultural land retirement in upland areas. Multivariate analysis of covariance and analysis of covariance models indicated that other environmental factors (such as drainage area and lacustrine and palustrine features) commonly were correlated to aquatic-community health measures, as were in-stream factors (standard deviation of water depth and substrate type). These results indicate that although agricultural land retirement is significantly related to fish communities as measured by the IBI scores, a combination of basin, riparian, and in-stream factors act together to influence IBI scores.
Beasley Lake is an oxbow lake located in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Plain (the Delta), a region of intensive agricultural activity. Due to intensive row-crop agricultural practices, the 915 ha watershed was sediment impaired when monitoring began in 1995 and was a candidate to assess the effect...
Constructed wetlands have been integrated within innovative agricultural water recycling systems, and these systems are now being evaluated at three demonstration sites located in the northwest Ohio portion of the Maumee River Basin (Defiance, Fulton, and Van Wert Counties). The water recycling syst...
Sharpley, Andrew; Wang, Xiaoyan
The accelerated eutrophication of freshwaters and to a lesser extent some coastal waters is primarily driven by phosphorus (P) inputs. While efforts to identify and limit point source inputs of P to surface waters have seen some success, nonpoint sources remain difficult to identify, target, and remediate. As further improvements in wastewater treatment technologies becomes increasingly costly, attention has focused more on nonpoint source reduction, particularly the role of agriculture. This attention was heightened over the last 10 to 20 years by a number of highly visible cases of nutrient-related water quality degradation; including the Lake Taihu, Baltic Sea, Chesapeake Bay, and Gulf of Mexico. Thus, there has been a shift to targeted management of critical sources of P loss. In both the U.S. and China, there has been an intensification of agricultural production systems in certain areas concentrate large amounts of nutrients in excess of local crop and forage needs, which has increased the potential for P loss from these areas. To address this, innovative technologies are emerging that recycle water P back to land as fertilizer. For example, in the watershed of Lake Taihu, China one of the largest surface fresh waters for drinking water supply in China, local governments have encouraged innovation and various technical trials to harvest harmful algal blooms and use them for bio-gas, agricultural fertilizers, and biofuel production. In any country, however, the economics of remediation will remain a key limitation to substantial changes in agricultural production. PMID:25193824
Arkansas produces the most rice, 3rd most cotton and 2nd most broilers of any state in the US. By 2050, agriculture will be asked to produce twice as much food, feed, and fiber for the projected world population, while challenged with reduced water availability from groundwater decline and increase...
Fleifle, Amr; Saavedra, Oliver; Yoshimura, Chihiro; Elzeir, Mohamed; Tawfik, Ahmed
The scarcity of water resources in Egypt has necessitated the use of various types of lower quality water. Agricultural drainage water is considered a strategic reserve for meeting increasing freshwater demands. In this study, a novel model series was applied to a drainage basin in the Nile Delta to optimize integrated water quality management for agriculture and the aquatic environment. The proposed model series includes a waste load allocation model, an export coefficient model, a stream water quality model, and a genetic algorithm. This model series offers an optimized solution for determining the required removal levels of total suspended solids (TSS), the chemical oxygen demand (COD) at point and non-point pollution sources, and the source flows that require treatment to meet a given water quality target. The model series was applied during the summer and winter to the El-Qalaa basin in the western delta of the Nile River. Increased pollutant removal and treated fractions at point and non-point sources reduced violations of the TSS standards from 732.6 to 238.9 mg/L in summer and from 543.1 to 380.9 mg/L in winter. Likewise, violations of the COD standards decreased from 112.4 mg/L to 0 (no violations) in summer and from 91.7 mg/L to no violations in winter. Thus, this model is recommended as a decision support tool for determining a desirable waste load allocation solution from a trade-off curve considering costs and the degree of compliance with water quality standards. PMID:24671393
Anderson, H.W., Jr.; Stoner, J.D.
Recent studies of Minnesota's sand plains indicate that ground-water chemistry is related to agricultural practices. Surficial sand-plain aquifers cover 8,000,000 acres of Minnesota and are a major source of water for domestic use, irrigation, and some municipal systems. The sand-plain aquifers consist of sand and gravel deposits that are from 20 to greater than 100 feet thick and are covered by a thin sandy loam that generally is less than 2 feet thick. Sand-plain aquifers are recharged by the downward percolation of precipitation through the soil root zone and the unsaturated zone in the sand to the water table. The water table is the upper surface of the zone of saturation and forms the top of the sand-plain aquifer. Sand-plain aquifers are susceptible to contamination by agricultural chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides), if downward-percolating recharge water contains these chemicals. The concentrations of nitrate, pesticides, and some other chemical constituents fluctuate seasonally and differ with depth below the water table (Anderson, 1989). Despite the availability of water-quality data for about 260 wells that were collected during previous studies in three U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) project areas in Minnesota, it is not known how concentrations of agricultural chemicals in ground water relate to the rate and timing of fertilizer and pesticide application or to the tillage practices used. Field-scale research is needed to determine the effects of different farming practices on the concentrations of nitrate, pesticides, and other agricultural chemicals in ground water in the unsaturated and saturated zones.
Gilliom, Robert J.; Thelin, Gail P.
Agricultural land use is one of the most important influences on water quality at national and regional scales. Although there is great diversity in the character of agricultural land, variations follow regional patterns that are influenced by environmental setting and economics. These regional patterns can be characterized by the distribution of crops. A new approach to classifying and mapping agricultural land use for national water-quality assessment was developed by combining information on general land-use distribution with information on crop patterns from agricultural census data. Separate classification systems were developed for row crops and for orchards, vineyards, and nurseries. These two general categories of agricultural land are distinguished from each other in the land-use classification system used in the U.S. Geological Survey national Land Use and Land Cover database. Classification of cropland was based on the areal extent of crops harvested. The acreage of each crop in each county was divided by total row-crop area or total orchard, vineyard, and nursery area, as appropriate, thus normalizing the crop data and making the classification independent of total cropland area. The classification system was developed using simple percentage criteria to define combinations of 1 to 3 crops that account for 50 percent or more or harvested acreage in a county. The classification system consists of 21 level I categories and 46 level II subcategories for row crops, and 26 level I categories and 19 level II subcategories for orchards, vineyards, and nurseries. All counties in the United States with reported harvested acreage are classified in these categories. The distribution of agricultural land within each county, however, must be evaluated on the basis of general land-use data. This can be done at the national scale using 'Major Land Uses of the United States,' at the regional scale using data from the national Land Use and Land Cover database, or at
Management of agricultural drainage ditches focuses on removing water from agricultural fields and ignores the potential impacts of these hydrological and geomorphological modifications on the water quality and aquatic biota. There is a need to identify methods of incorporating environmental conside...
Surface water runoff from agricultural landscapes is one of the major sources of water quality impairment in the United States. With the advent of buffer strips and conservation minded tilling practices the agricultural community has made significant reductions in overland runof...
Background Using treated wastewater in agriculture irrigation could be a realistic solution for the shortage of fresh water in Iran, however, it is associated with environmental and health threats; therefore, effluent quality assessment is quite necessary before use. The present study aimed to evaluate the physicochemical and microbial quality of Shiraz wastewater treatment plant effluent for being used in agricultural irrigation. In this study, 20 physicochemical and 3 microbial parameters were measured during warm (April to September) and cold months (October to march). Using the measured parameters and the Canadian Water Quality Index, the quality of the effluent was determined in both warm and cold seasons and in all the seasons together. Results The calculated index for the physicochemical parameters in the effluent was equal (87) in warm and cold months and it was obtained as 85 for the seasons all together. When the microbial parameters were used in order to calculate the index, it declined to 67 in warm and cold seasons and 64 in all the seasons together. Also, it was found that three physicochemical parameters (TDS, EC, and NO3) and three microbial parameters (Fecal coliform, Helminthes egg, and Total coliform) had the most contribution to the reduction of the index value. Conclusions The results showed that the physicochemical quality of Shiraz Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluent was good for irrigation in the warm, cold, and total of the two kinds of seasons. However, by applying the microbial parameter, the index value declined dramatically and the quality of the effluent was marginal. PMID:23566673
Pistocchi, Chiara; Baneschi, Ilaria; Basile, Paolo; Cannavò, Silvia; Guidi, Massimo; Risaliti, Rosalba; Rossetto, Rudy; Sabbatini, Tiziana; Silvestri, Nicola; Bonari, Enrico
Owing to increasing anthropogenic impacts, lagoons and wetlands are being exposed to environmental degradation. Therefore, the sustainable management of these environmental resources is a fundamental issue to maintain either the ecosystems and the human activity. The Massaciuccoli Lake is a coastal lake of fresh to brackish water surrounded by a marsh, which drains a total catchment of about 114 km2. Large part of the basin has been reclaimed since 1930 by means of pumping stations forcing water from the drained areas into the lake. The system is characterized by: high complexity of the hydrological setting; subsidence of the peaty soils in the reclaimed area (2 to 3 m in 70 years), that left the lake perched; reclaimed land currently devoted mainly to conventional agriculture (e.g.: maize monoculture) along with some industrial sites, two sewage treatment plants and some relevant urban settlements; social conflicts among different land users because of the impact on water quality and quantity. The interaction between such a fragile natural system and human activities leads to an altered ecological status mainly due to eutrophication and water salinisation. Hence, the present work aims at identifying and assessing the sources of nutrients (phosphorous in particular) into the lake, and characterising land use and some socio-economic aspects focusing on agricultural systems, in order to set up suitable mitigation measures. Water quantity and quality in the most intensively cultivated sub-catchment, placed 0.5 to 3 m under m.s.l. were monitored in order to underlain the interaction between water and its nutrient load. Questionnaires and interviews to farmers were conducted to obtain information about agricultural practices, farm management, risks and constraints for farming activities. The available information about the natural system and land use were collected and organised in a GIS system: a conceptual model of surface water hydrodinamics was build up and 14
Many headwater streams in the midwestern United States have been highly modified to receive agricultural drainage. Effective implementation of conservation practices to reduce nutrient and pesticide loadings requires information about the influence of water quality on biotic communities. We evaluate...
Gomez, S. M.; Bhadha, J. H.; Lang, T. A.; Josan, M. S.; Daroub, S. H.
The canals in the Everglades Agricultural Area contain an abundance of floating aquatic vegetation (FAV) and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). These FAV flourish in waters with high phosphorus (P) concentrations and prevent the co-precipitation of P with the limestone bedrock (CaCO3). To test the effects of FAV and SAV and the presence of sediments on water quality in the canals, a lysimeter study was set up and stocked with FAV (water lettuce) and SAV (filamentous algae). There were four treatments with four replicates Treatment one contained limerock, sediment from the canals, and FAV. Treatment two contained limerock, sediment, and SAV. Treatment three contained limerock and FAV, while treatment four had limerock and SAV. After 7 days, the buckets were drained and replaced the water with new, high P canal water. Water samples were taken at 0, 0.25, 1, 3, and 7 days after each weekly water exchange. To test water quality soluble reactive P, total P, total dissolved P, Ca, and total organic carbon were analyzed. The impact of FAV and SAV and canal sediments on water quality will be discussed. We hypothesize water lettuce treatments will initially result in a reduction in P-concentration in all species, but will only serve as a short-term sink because of their high turn-over rate and production of labile high-P sediment (floc). In addition, we hypothesize the treatments with no sediment will have more P reduction because of the availability for P to co-precipitate with CaCO3.
Gopalakrishnan, G.; Negri, C. M.
There is a strong societal need to evaluate and understand the environmental aspects of bioenergy production, especially due to the significant increases in production mandated by many countries, including the United States. Bioenergy is a land-based renewable resource and increases in production are likely to result in large-scale conversion of land from current uses to bioenergy crop production; potentially causing increases in the prices of food, land and agricultural commodities as well as disruption of ecosystems. Current research on the environmental sustainability of bioenergy has largely focused on the potential of bioenergy crops to sequester carbon and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and possible impacts on water quality and quantity. A key assumption in these studies is that bioenergy crops will be grown in a manner similar to current agricultural crops such as corn and hence would affect the environment similarly. This study presents a systems approach where the agricultural, energy and environmental sectors are considered as components of a single system, and bioenergy crops are used to design multi-functional agricultural landscapes that meet society’s requirements for food, energy and environmental protection. We evaluate the production of bioenergy crop buffers on marginal land and using degraded water and discuss the potential for growing cellulosic bioenergy crops such as miscanthus and switchgrass in optimized systems such that (1) marginal land is brought into productive use; (2) impaired water is used to boost yields (3); clean freshwater is left for other uses that require higher water quality; and (4) feedstock diversification is achieved that helps ecological sustainability, biodiversity, and economic opportunities for farmers. The process-based biogeochemical model DNDC was used to simulate crop yield, nitrous oxide production and nitrate concentrations in groundwater when bioenergy crops were grown in buffer strips adjacent to
Lin, Z.; Zheng, H.
The US Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 has contributed to widespread changes in agricultural land uses. The impact of these land use changes on regional water resources could also be significant. Agricultural land use changes were evaluated for the Red River of the North Basin (RRNB), an international river basin shared by the US and Canada. The influence of the land use changes on spring snowmelt flooding and downstream water quality was also assessed using watershed modeling. The planting areas for corn and soybean in the basin increased by 62% and 18%, while those for spring wheat, forest, and pasture decreased by 30%, 18%, and 50%, from 2006 to 2013. Although the magnitude of spring snowmelt peak flows in the Red River did not change from pre-EISA to post-EISA, our uncertainty analysis of the normalized hydrographs revealed that the downstream streamflows had a greater variability under the post-EISA land use scenario, which may lead to greater uncertainty in predicting spring snowmelt floods in the Red River. Hydrological simulation also showed that the sediment and nutrient loads at the basin's outlet in the US and Canada border increased under the post-EISA land use scenario, on average sediment increasing by 2.6%, TP by 14.1%, nitrate nitrogen by 5.9%, and TN by 9.1%. Potential impacts of the future biofuel crop scenarios on watershed hydrology and water quality in the RRNB were also simulated through integrated economic-hydrologic modeling.
Lin, Zhulu; Anar, Mohammad J.; Zheng, Haochi
The US Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 has contributed to widespread changes in agricultural land uses. The impact of these land use changes on regional water resources could also be significant. Agricultural land use changes were evaluated for the Red River of the North Basin, an international river basin shared by the US and Canada. The influence of the land use change on spring snowmelt flooding and downstream water quality was also assessed using watershed modeling. The planting areas for corn and soybean in the basin increased by 62% and 18%, while those for spring wheat, forest, and pasture decreased by 30%, 18%, and 50%, from 2006 to 2013. Although the magnitude of spring snowmelt peak flows in the Red River did not change from pre-EISA to post-EISA, our uncertainty analysis of the normalized hydrographs revealed that the downstream streamflows had a greater variability under the post-EISA land use scenario, which may lead to greater uncertainty in predicting spring snowmelt floods in the Red River. Hydrological simulation also showed that the sediment and nutrient loads at the basin's outlet in the US and Canada border increased under the post-EISA land use scenario, on average sediment increasing by 2.6%, TP by 14.1%, nitrate nitrogen by 5.9%, and TN by 9.1%.
Tonmanee, N; Wada, H
A preliminary study on the water quality of a reservoir, affected by agriculture, in the east of Thailand was conducted during 1996-1997. Monitoring water quality of a reservoir is important because the sloping lands surrounding the reservoirs are mainly utilized for cultivating cash crops (pineapple, cassava, etc). A lot of fertilizers and agrochemicals were applied to soil and crops which can polluted the water. The results from the preliminary studied will be applied for the monitoring of the water quality in other reservoirs in the 16 pilot areas. PMID:11724479
Simpkins, W.W.; Ariffin, A.R.; Qui, Z. . Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences)
In this study, the authors demonstrate conjunctive use of traditional water quality data with environmental isotopes and geochemistry to determine whether present or future application of chemicals at the land surface will affect water quality in deep aquifers. The study area is located in central Iowa in the Walnut Creek Basin, one of three USDA-CSRS Management System Evaluation Area (MSEA) sites in Iowa. Pre-Illinoian gravel, Pennsylvanian sandstone, and Mississippian limestone comprise the major aquifers in this area and they are overlain by at least 50 m of late Wisconsin and Pre-Illinoian glacial sediments. Well depths, water levels, and aquifer units were identified by well construction logs followed by a house-to-house survey of residents. A subset of 125 total wells was sampled for major ions, trace metals, H-3, delta O-18, delta H-2, delta C-13, and C-14-DIC. Results suggest that contamination of deep aquifers from agricultural practices in the basin is unlikely. First, data from this study and the Till Hydrology Site to the northwest suggest that vertical groundwater velocities through the Pre-Illinoian till are too low for recent vertical recharge to reach the aquifers. Second, H-3 and corrected C-14 dates suggest that groundwater recharged both vertically and at outcrop is at least 13,000 years old and may be > 40,000 years old. Third, the groundwater in these aquifers is anaerobic and contains high Fe concentrations, SO[sub 4] concentrations < 1 mmol/L, CH[sub 4] gas, and delta C-13 DIC values between 0.0 and [minus]21.9 [per thousand]. The processes involved suggest a geochemical environment unfavorable for persistence of NO[sub 3]. In contrast, water samples from some wells suggest that some contamination may occur through poorly-constructed wells or deteriorating well casing.
Entry, James A; Sojka, R E; Watwood, Maribeth; Ross, Craig
Waste streams associated with a variety of agricultural runoff sources are major contributors of nutrients, pesticides and enteric microorganisms to surface and ground waters. Water soluble anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) was found to be a highly effective erosion-preventing and infiltration-enhancing polymer, when applied at rates of 1-10 g m(-3) in furrow irrigation water. Water flowing from PAM treated irrigation furrows show large reductions in sediment, nutrients and pesticides. Recently PAM and PAM + CaO and PAM + Al(SO4)3 mixtures have been shown to filter bacteria, fungi and nutrients from animal wastewater. Low concentrations of PAM [175-350 g PAM ha(-1) as PAM or as PAM + CaO and PAM + Al(SO4) mixture] applied to the soil surface, resulted in dramatic decreases (10 fold) of total, coliform and fecal streptococci bacteria in cattle, fish and swine wastewater leachate and surface runoff. PAM treatment also filtered significant amounts of NH4, PO4 and total P in cattle and swine wastewater. This points to the potential of developing PAM as a water quality protection measure in combination with large-scale animal feeding operations. Potential benefits of PAM treatment of animal facility waste streams include: (1) low cost, (2) easy and quick application. (3) suitability for use with other pollution reduction techniques. Research on the efficacy of PAM for removal of protozoan parasites and viruses and more thorough assessment of PAM degradation in different soils is still needed to completely evaluate PAM treatment as an effective waste water treatment. We will present analysis and feasibility of using PAM, PAM + Al(SO4)3, and PAM + CaO application for specific applications. Our results demonstrate their potential efficacy in reducing sediment, nutrients and microorganisms from animal production facility effluents. PMID:12395830
Poorly managed agricultural watersheds may be one of the most important contributors to high levels of bacterial and sediment loadings in surface waters. We investigated two cattle farms with differing management schemes to compare how physicochemical and meteorological parameter...
Brodsky, Lukas; Kodesova, Radka; Kodes, Vit
The main objective of this study is to demonstrate potential of operational use of the high and medium resolution remote sensing data for hydrological water quality monitoring by mapping agriculture intensity and crop structures. In particular use of remote sensing mapping for optimization of pesticide monitoring. The agricultural mapping task is tackled by means of medium spatial and high temporal resolution ESA Envisat MERIS FR images together with single high spatial resolution IRS AWiFS image covering the whole area of interest (the Czech Republic). High resolution data (e.g. SPOT, ALOS, Landsat) are often used for agricultural land use classification, but usually only at regional or local level due to data availability and financial constraints. AWiFS data (nominal spatial resolution 56 m) due to the wide satellite swath seems to be more suitable for use at national level. Nevertheless, one of the critical issues for such a classification is to have sufficient image acquisitions over the whole vegetation period to describe crop development in appropriate way. ESA MERIS middle-resolution data were used in several studies for crop classification. The high temporal and also spectral resolution of MERIS data has indisputable advantage for crop classification. However, spatial resolution of 300 m results in mixture signal in a single pixel. AWiFS-MERIS data synergy brings new perspectives in agricultural Land Use mapping. Also, the developed methodology procedure is fully compatible with future use of ESA (GMES) Sentinel satellite images. The applied methodology of hybrid multi-sensor approach consists of these main stages: a/ parcel segmentation and spectral pre-classification of high resolution image (AWiFS); b/ ingestion of middle resolution (MERIS) vegetation spectro-temporal features; c/ vegetation signatures unmixing; and d/ semantic object-oriented classification of vegetation classes into final classification scheme. These crop groups were selected to be
Teshager, Awoke D.; Gassman, Philip W.; Schoof, Justin T.; Secchi, Silvia
Modeling impacts of agricultural scenarios and climate change on surface water quantity and quality provides useful information for planning effective water, environmental and land use policies. Despite the significant impacts of agriculture on water quantity and quality, limited literature exists that describes the combined impacts of agricultural land use change and climate change on future bioenergy crop yields and watershed hydrology. In this study, the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) eco-hydrological model was used to model the combined impacts of five agricultural land use change scenarios and three downscaled climate pathways (representative concentration pathways, RCPs) that were created from an ensemble of eight atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs). These scenarios were implemented in a well-calibrated SWAT model for the intensively farmed and tiled Raccoon River watershed (RRW) located in western Iowa. The scenarios were executed for the historical baseline, early century, mid-century and late century periods. The results indicate that historical and more corn intensive agricultural scenarios with higher CO2 emissions consistently result in more water in the streams and greater water quality problems, especially late in the 21st century. Planting more switchgrass, on the other hand, results in less water in the streams and water quality improvements relative to the baseline. For all given agricultural landscapes simulated, all flow, sediment and nutrient outputs increase from early-to-late century periods for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios. We also find that corn and switchgrass yields are negatively impacted under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios in the mid- and late 21st century.
Many countries are interested in assessing and improving surface water quality, including decreasing risks to public health from water-borne pathogens. Indicators of fecal contamination such as Escherichia coli are commonly utilized to assess water quality. However, the relationship between indica...
Zhang, Weiwei; Li, Hong; Sun, Danfeng; Zhou, Liandi
Understanding the effects of intensive agricultural land use activities on water resources is essential for natural resource management and environmental improvement. In this paper, multi-scale nested watersheds were delineated and the relationships between two representative water quality indexes and agricultural land use intensity were assessed and quantified for the year 2000 using multi-scale regression analysis. The results show that the log-transformed nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) index exhibited a relationship with chemical fertilizer input intensity and several natural factors, including soil loss, rainfall and sunlight at the first order watershed scale, while permanganate index (CODMn) had a positive relationship with another two input intensities of pesticides and agricultural plastic mulch and organic manure at the fifth order watershed scale. The first order watershed and the fifth order watershed were considered as the watershed adaptive response units for NO3-N and CODMn, respectively. The adjustment of agricultural input and its intensity may be carried out inside the individual watershed adaptive response unit. The multiple linear regression model demonstrated the cause-and-effect relationship between agricultural land use intensity and stream water quality at multiple scales, which is an important factor for the maintenance of stream water quality. PMID:23202839
Zhang, Weiwei; Li, Hong; Sun, Danfeng; Zhou, Liandi
Understanding the effects of intensive agricultural land use activities on water resources is essential for natural resource management and environmental improvement. In this paper, multi-scale nested watersheds were delineated and the relationships between two representative water quality indexes and agricultural land use intensity were assessed and quantified for the year 2000 using multi-scale regression analysis. The results show that the log-transformed nitrate-nitrogen (NO(3)-N) index exhibited a relationship with chemical fertilizer input intensity and several natural factors, including soil loss, rainfall and sunlight at the first order watershed scale, while permanganate index (COD(Mn)) had a positive relationship with another two input intensities of pesticides and agricultural plastic mulch and organic manure at the fifth order watershed scale. The first order watershed and the fifth order watershed were considered as the watershed adaptive response units for NO(3)-N and COD(Mn), respectively. The adjustment of agricultural input and its intensity may be carried out inside the individual watershed adaptive response unit. The multiple linear regression model demonstrated the cause-and-effect relationship between agricultural land use intensity and stream water quality at multiple scales, which is an important factor for the maintenance of stream water quality. PMID:23202839
Riparian seepage zones in headwater agricultural watersheds represent important sources of nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) to surface waters, often connecting N-rich groundwater systems to streams. In this study, we examined how NO3-N concentrations in seep and stream water were affected by NO3-N processin...
McMahon, Peter B.
In 1998, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program began a regional study of water quality in the High Plains aquifer. The High Plains aquifer underlies an area of about 174,000 square miles in parts of eight States. Because of its large size, the High Plains aquifer has been divided into three regions: the Southern High Plains, Central High Plains, and Northern High Plains (fig. 1A). Although an assessment of water quality in each of the three regions is planned, the initial focus will be the Central High Plains aquifer. Anyone who has flown over the Central High Plains in the summer and has seen the large green circles associated with center pivot sprinklers (fig. 2) knows that irrigated agriculture is a widespread land use. Pesticides and fertilizers applied on those irrigated fields will not degrade ground-water quality if they remain in or above the root zone (fig. 3). However, if those chemicals move downward through the unsaturated zone to the water table, they may degrade the quality of the ground water. Water is the principal agent for transporting chemicals from land surface to the water table, and in the semiarid Central High Plains, irrigation often represents the most abundant source of water during the growing season. One objective of NAWQA's High Plains Regional Ground-Water study is to evaluate the effect of irrigated agriculture on the quality of recently recharged water in the Ogallala Formation of the Central High Plains aquifer (figs. 1A and 1B). The Ogallala Formation is the principal geologic unit in the Central High Plains aquifer, and it consists of poorly sorted clay, silt, sand, and gravel that generally is unconsolidated (Gutentag and others, 1984). Approximately 23 percent of the cropland overlying the Ogallala Formation is irrigated (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1999). The NAWQA Program generally defines recently recharged ground water to be water recharged in the last 50 years. The water table in
The Conway Gulch area (17050114) is a major source of pollutants effecting water quality and beneficial uses in Conway Gulch and the Lower Boise River. A pollution source and transport monitoring technique was used in evaluating water quality. The objective of this monitoring e...
Oliver, David M; Porter, Kenneth D H; Pachepsky, Yakov A; Muirhead, Richard W; Reaney, Sim M; Coffey, Rory; Kay, David; Milledge, David G; Hong, Eunmi; Anthony, Steven G; Page, Trevor; Bloodworth, Jack W; Mellander, Per-Erik; Carbonneau, Patrice E; McGrane, Scott J; Quilliam, Richard S
The application of models to predict concentrations of faecal indicator organisms (FIOs) in environmental systems plays an important role for guiding decision-making associated with the management of microbial water quality. In recent years there has been an increasing demand by policy-makers for models to help inform FIO dynamics in order to prioritise efforts for environmental and human-health protection. However, given the limited evidence-base on which FIO models are built relative to other agricultural pollutants (e.g. nutrients) it is imperative that the end-user expectations of FIO models are appropriately managed. In response, this commentary highlights four over-arching questions associated with: (i) model purpose; (ii) modelling approach; (iii) data availability; and (iv) model application, that must be considered as part of good practice prior to the deployment of any modelling approach to predict FIO behaviour in catchment systems. A series of short and longer-term research priorities are proposed in response to these questions in order to promote better model deployment in the field of catchment microbial dynamics. PMID:26657248
Taylor, Sam; He, Yi; Hiscock, Kevin
Increasing human pressures on the natural environment through the demand for increased agricultural productivity have exacerbated and deteriorated water quality conditions within many environments due to an unbalancing of the nutrient cycle. As a consequence, increased agricultural diffuse water pollution has resulted in elevated concentrations of nutrients within surface water and groundwater bodies. This deterioration in water quality has direct consequences for the health of aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity, human health, and the use of water as a resource for public water supply and recreation. To mitigate these potential impacts and to meet commitments under the EU Drinking Water and Water Framework Directives, there is a need to improve our understanding of the impacts that agricultural land use and management practices have on water quality. Water quality models are one of the tools available which can be used to facilitate this aim. These simplified representations of the physical environment allow a variety of changes to be simulated within a catchment, including for example changes in agricultural land use and management practices, allowing for predictions of the impacts of those measures on water quality to be developed and an assessment to be made of their effectiveness in improving conditions. The aim of this research is to apply the water quality model SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) to the Wensum catchment (area 650 km2), situated in the East of England, to predict the impacts of potential changes in land use and land management practices on water quality as part of a process to select those measures that in combination will have the greatest potential to improve water quality. Model calibration and validation is conducted at three sites within the catchment against observations of river discharge and nitrate and total phosphorus loads at a monthly time-step using the optimisation algorithm SUFI-2 (Sequential Uncertainty Fitting Version 2
Oenema, Oene; van Liere, Lowie; Schoumans, Oscar
The ecological status of many surface waters in the Netherlands (NL) is poor, due to relatively high discharges of N and P from agriculture, industry and wastewater treatment plants. Agriculture is suggested to be a major source, as discharges from industry and wastewater treatment plants have sharply decreased from the 1980s onwards. Agricultural land covers more than 60% of the total surface area in NL, and most of this land is managed intensively and is intersected by a dense network of ditches (total length ˜300,000 km), streams and lakes. On average, groundwater levels are shallow to very shallow. It has been suggested that nutrient balances of agricultural land are easy to measure proxies for nutrient discharges from agricultural land, though the relationships between nutrient balances and nutrient discharges into groundwater and surface water are not well-established. Thus, we explored the effects of lowering N and P surpluses in NL agriculture on the quality of groundwater and surface waters. Effects of N surpluses in the range of 40-300 kg ha -1 yr -1, and of P surpluses in the range of 0.4-17.5 kg of P per ha per year were examined using an integrated set of mathematical models and databases. Results indicate that nitrate leaching to groundwater and N and P discharges to surface waters are related to both N and P surpluses, hydrological condition, land use and soil type. On a national scale, decreasing N surplus by 1 kg ha -1, decreased nitrate leaching to groundwater on average by 0.08 kg ha -1 and N leaching to surface waters on average by 0.12 kg ha -1. Decreases of N and P concentrations in surface waters upon lowering surpluses were smaller than the calculated discharges. Decreases in N and P concentrations were much smaller in the coastal zone and Lake IJsselmeer, than in regional waters (ditches and small streams). The small improvement in the quality of surface waters upon lowering surpluses in agriculture is related to the relative importance of
Cummings, T. Ray
Land use in the upper St. Joseph River basin of south-central Michigan is primarily agricultural. In the 144-square-mile area, the chemical and physical characteristics of water are determined by the climate and soils, as well as by land conservation practices. Municipal waste discharges affect water quality at some locations, as do the larger lakes and ponds. Data indicate that mean discharge from the basin is 135 cubic feet per second. About half this flow is contributed to the St. Joseph River by three major tributaries: Beebe Creek (36 cubic feet per second); Sand Creek (24 cubic feet per second); and Soap Creek (13 cubic feet per second). Runoff from 21 drainage areas delineated for the investigation ranged from 0.22 to 4.07 cubic feet per second per square mile; both the higher and lower values are largely the result of naturally occurring inter- and intrabasin transfers of water. Suspended-sediment concentrations are low throughout the basin, rarely exceeding 100 milligrams per liter. Mean concentrations at four daily sampling stations on the major tributaries and on the St. Joseph River ranged from 9.7 milligrams per liter to 38 milligrams per liter. The maximum sediment yield was 182 pounds per acre per year. Deposition of sediment in five of the 21 areas resulted in a net loss of sediment transported, and thus ?negative? yields. Nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations do not vary greatly from site to site. Mean concentrations of total nitrogen at downstream sites on Beebe, Sand, and Soap Creeks, and on the St. Joseph River ranged from 1.5 to 1.8 milligrams per liter. About 90 percent of all nitrogen, and 66 percent of all phosphorus, is transported in solution. Land used principally for agriculture has a mean total nitrogen yield of 4.9 pounds per acre per year and a mean total phosphorus yield of 0.13 pounds per year. A comparison of total nitrogen and total phosphorus yields with type of agricultural use showed few relationships; nitrogen yield, however
Melland, Alice; Jordan, Phil; Murphy, Paul; Mellander, Per-Erik; Shortle, Ger
Critical for an informative feedback loop from scientific monitoring of biophysical change, to making and implementing suitable policy to effect the desired change, are both accurate measurement of biophysical change, and measurement or modelling of the causes of change. For example the European Environment Agency uses the DPSIR framework to assess change in the state (S) of natural resources due to changes in specific drivers (D) and pressures (P) that can have an impact (I) and are the focus of policy responses (R). This paper provides a review of meso-catchment scale studies worldwide that have measured the impacts of agricultural land management practice on surface water quality. Approaches for measuring water quality impacts of agricultural mitigation practices in meso-catchments (1-100 km2) ranged from measuring water quality over a time series, such as before and after a land management change, or over a spatial series such as in paired catchments with and without agricultural practice change (or over a gradient of practices or catchment types), and by cause and effect studies that measure sources, pathways and impacts of practices. Agricultural mitigation measures had no measurable effect, or positive, or negative effects on water quality over periods of 3 to 20 years. In most catchments where beneficial effects of mitigation measures were successfully measured, combinations of measures that address nutrient or pollutant sources, pathways, delivery and impact have been implemented. Successful farm measures included substantial reductions in the intensity of the farming systems, improved engineering and crop management to reduce runoff and drainage transport of nutrients and sediment, as well as high rates of implementation of measures across the catchments. In many cases, the potential to measure improvement in one or more water quality indicators was limited by the impact of a few management or weather events. Reasons that water quality did not improve in
Kay, Paul; Grayson, Richard; Phillips, Martin; Stanley, Karen; Dodsworth, Alan; Hanson, Ann; Walker, Andrew; Foulger, Miles; McDonnell, Iain; Taylor, Simon
SummaryAgriculture is estimated to be responsible for 70% of nitrate and 30-50% of phosphorus pollution, contributing to ecological and water treatment problems. Despite the fact that significant gaps remain in our understanding, it is known that agricultural stewardship can be highly effective in controlling water pollution at the plot and field scales. Knowledge at the catchment scale is, to a large extent, entirely lacking though and this is of paramount concern given that the catchment is the management unit used by regulatory authorities. The few studies that have examined the impact of agricultural stewardship at the catchment scale have found that Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) in the UK have resulted in little improvement in water quality which concurs with the current catchment study. In addition to NVZs, there was little evidence to suggest that the England Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative had impacted water quality and suggestions have been made for improvements, such as ensuring that stewardship measures are used in key pollution source areas and their implementation and impacts are monitored more closely. This will be essential if agricultural catchment management schemes are going to provide the benefits expected of them. Nevertheless, more intensive monitoring than that carried out by regulators showed a significant trend in decreasing winter nitrate peaks in some streams which is hypothesised to be due to recent reduced inorganic fertiliser application as a result of increasing prices. It was concluded that, collectively, these findings indicate that agricultural stewardship measures have the potential to improve water quality at the catchment scale but that voluntary schemes with insufficient financial reward or regulatory pressure are unlikely to be successful.
Crutchfield, S.R.; Ribaudo, M.O.; Hansen, L.T.; Quiroga, R.
Cotton production, compared with other crops, is less likely to cause erosion-induced water-quality problems because cotton acreage is not the major source of erosion in most regions. For cotton production, the most widespread potential damages to water quality are nitrates from fertilizer polluting ground water and pesticides contaminating surface water. This damage could be reduced by restricting chemical and fertilizer use on all cotton production, but doing so could reduce cotton yields and raise cotton prices. The same level of water-quality improvement could be achieved at less cost by targeting the chemical use or erosion restrictions only to cotton farms with the most vulnerable soils. Data come from a 1989 USDA survey of cotton producers.
Schippers, Peter; van de Weerd, Hendrika; de Klein, Jeroen; de Jong, Barend; Scheffer, Marten
Phosphorus (P) losses caused by intensive agriculture are known to have potentially large negative effects on the water quality of lakes. However, due to the buffering capacity of soils and lake ecosystems, such effects may appear long after intensive agriculture started. Here we present the study of a coupled shallow lake catchment model, which allows a glimpse of the magnitude of these buffer-related time delays. Results show that the buffering capacity of the lake water was negligible whereas buffering in the lake sediment postponed the final lake equilibrium for several decades. The surface soil layer in contact with runoff water was accountable for a delay of 5-50 years. The most important buffer, however, was the percolation soil layer that may cause a delay of 150-1700 years depending on agricultural P surplus levels. Although the buffers could postpone final lake equilibria for a considerable time, current and target agricultural surplus levels eventually led to very turbid conditions with total P concentrations of 2.0 and 0.6 mg L(-1) respectively. To secure permanent clear water states the current agricultural P surplus of 15 kg P ha(-1) yr(-1) should drop to 0.7 kg P ha(-1) yr(-1). We present several simple equations that can be used to estimate the sustainable P surplus levels, buffer related time delays and equilibrium P concentrations in other catchment-lake systems. PMID:16781763
Partyka, Melissa L; Bond, Ronald F; Chase, Jennifer A; Kiger, Luana; Atwill, Edward R
Agricultural recovery basins are an important conservation practice designed to provide temporary storage of sediment and water on farms before low-volume discharge. However, food safety concerns have been raised regarding redistribution of captured sediment and water to fields used for human food production. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential microbiological risk that recovery basins may contribute to nearby produce fields and to evaluate characteristics that may influence or mitigate those risks. Water and sediment samples were collected from participating farms in three states and evaluated for bacterial indicators and pathogens over several months. Overall, 45% ( = 48) of water samples and less than 15% ( = 13) of sediment samples were positive for spp. In water samples, the occurrence of was positively associated with the use of surface water as a source of irrigation compared with groundwater as well as log-scale increases in concentration. In sediment samples, was associated with basin location (region) and basin fill levels. Sediment exposed to drying during dewatering had lower concentrations of indicator and a lower proportion of positives than submerged sediment from the same pond. Surrounding landscape characteristics, including vegetative coverage, proximity to livestock operations, and evidence of wildlife, were not correlated with pathogen occurrence in either sediment or water samples, suggesting that although habitat surrounding ponds may be an attractant to wildlife, those features may not contribute to increased pathogen occurrence in agricultural recovery basins. PMID:27065413
Tavakoli, Ali; Nikoo, Mohammad Reza; Kerachian, Reza; Soltani, Maryam
In this paper, a new fuzzy methodology is developed to optimize water and waste load allocation (WWLA) in rivers under uncertainty. An interactive two-stage stochastic fuzzy programming (ITSFP) method is utilized to handle parameter uncertainties, which are expressed as fuzzy boundary intervals. An iterative linear programming (ILP) is also used for solving the nonlinear optimization model. To accurately consider the impacts of the water and waste load allocation strategies on the river water quality, a calibrated QUAL2Kw model is linked with the WWLA optimization model. The soil, water, atmosphere, and plant (SWAP) simulation model is utilized to determine the quantity and quality of each agricultural return flow. To control pollution loads of agricultural networks, it is assumed that a part of each agricultural return flow can be diverted to an evaporation pond and also another part of it can be stored in a detention pond. In detention ponds, contaminated water is exposed to solar radiation for disinfecting pathogens. Results of applying the proposed methodology to the Dez River system in the southwestern region of Iran illustrate its effectiveness and applicability for water and waste load allocation in rivers. In the planning phase, this methodology can be used for estimating the capacities of return flow diversion system and evaporation and detention ponds. PMID:25740683
Heinz, Emanuel; Kraft, Philipp; Buchen, Caroline; Frede, Hans-Georg; Aquino, Eugenio; Breuer, Lutz
Climate change has already a large impact on the availability of water resources. Many regions in South-East Asia are assumed to receive less water in the future, dramatically impacting the production of the most important staple food: rice (Oryza sativa L.). Rice is the primary food source for nearly half of the World's population, and is the only cereal that can grow under wetland conditions. Especially anaerobic (flooded) rice fields require high amounts of water but also have higher yields than aerobic produced rice. In the past different methods were developed to reduce the water use in rice paddies, like alternative wetting and drying or the use of mixed cropping systems with aerobic (non-flooded) rice and alternative crops such as maize. A more detailed understanding of water and nutrient cycling in rice-based cropping systems is needed to reduce water use, and requires the investigation of hydrological and biochemical processes as well as transport dynamics at the field scale. New developments in analytical devices permit monitoring parameters at high temporal resolutions and at acceptable costs without much necessary maintenance or analysis over longer periods. Here we present a new type of automatic sampling set-up that facilitates in situ analysis of hydrometric information, stable water isotopes and nitrate concentrations in spatially differentiated agricultural fields. The system facilitates concurrent monitoring of a large number of water and nutrient fluxes (ground, surface, irrigation and rain water) in irrigated agriculture. For this purpose we couple an automatic sampling system with a Wavelength-Scanned Cavity Ring Down Spectrometry System (WS-CRDS) for stable water isotope analysis (δ2H and δ18O), a reagentless hyperspectral UV photometer for monitoring nitrate content and various water level sensors for hydrometric information. The whole system is maintained with special developed software for remote control of the system via internet. We
More than three decades have elapsed since the passage of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act with its stated goal of zero discharge of pollutants into the nation’s waterways. Yet water quality remains poor in many locations and considerable loading of pollutants continue. This is particularly ...
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and European Union (EU) are engaged in an extensive effort to assess and improve surface water quality, including decreasing risks to public health from water-borne pathogens. In the absence of data for specific pathogens, indicators of fecal contamina...
McCarthy, Kathleen A.; Lampe, David C.; Capel, Paul D.
Field and analytical methods; discrete organic and non-organic water-quality data and associated quality-control data; and continuous hydrologic and water-quality parameters are reported for sites in California, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Washington. The sites were sampled as part of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program?s Agricultural Chemicals Team study to better understand how environmental processes and agricultural practices interact to determine the transport and fate of agricultural chemicals in the environment.
Smith, R. A.; Alexander, R. B.; Schwarz, G. E.
US animal agriculture has undergone major structural changes over the past two decades, with the total number of livestock producers declining dramatically and the average size of the remaining operations increasing substantially. The result has been a pronounced trend towards greater spatial concentration and confinement of livestock. The change raises important questions about the water quality effects of animal agriculture in regions where livestock waste production has become more intensive but recovery, handling, and application of animal wastes to cropland more systematized. In previous research, we developed three separate national-level SPARROW models of surface water contaminants (total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and fecal coliform bacteria). Based on USGS monitoring and ancillary data from more than 400 US stream and river basins, the models include point and nonpoint sources of contaminants, land-to-water transport factors, and in-stream loss processes; parameter estimation is by non-linear regression. In this study we report on a pattern in the statistical results for the three models: The source coefficients (quantity of contaminant delivered to streams per unit of contaminant input) for unconfined animals are consistently larger and more statistically significant than those for confined animals. The implicit meaning is that something associated with waste management on large farms and/or animal confinement (e.g. retention period, recovery of manure for application to crops and subsequent crop uptake, and/or better waste treatment) reduces the average water quality signal of this scale of animal agriculture (per unit of manure input) to barely detectable at downstream monitoring stations, while the water quality signal from unconfined animal agriculture is more clear. The county-level data for confined and unconfined manure inputs (defined primarily by farm size) are from the USDA, and are spatially distributed in the model GIS by 1-km land use data
Estrada-Acosta, M; Jiménez, M; Chaidez, C; León-Félix, J; Castro-Del Campo, N
The implementation of good agricultural practices (GAP) from irrigation water to the tomato packaging process enhances the safety of fresh produce and its value throughout the food chain. The aim of the present study was to show that fresh produce farms that apply and enforce GAP could reduce the presence of Salmonella in finished produce. Samples were collected biweekly from six packing houses from the central region of Sinaloa, México, for the isolation of Salmonella spp by the ISO 6579:2002 method, and the isolated strains were serotyped and genotyped by the Kauffmman-White scheme and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), respectively. Salmonella strains were detected in 13 (36.1 %) irrigation water samples, while only two tomato samples were positive (5.5 %). Eight different serotypes were identified in irrigation water, and Salmonella Oranienburg (34 %) was the most prevalent; however, only Salmonella Agona and Salmonella Weltevreden were present on tomatoes. Salmonella Oranienburg was the most widely dispersed and variable serotype, with 10 different PFGE profiles. Salmonella Weltevreden was isolated from both types of samples, albeit with distinct genetic profiles, implying that the sources of contamination differ. These results confirm the utility of implementing good agricultural practices to reduce Salmonella contamination in irrigation water and the packaging process. PMID:24682661
Odemiş, Berkant; Bozkurt, Sefer; Ağca, Necat; Yalçin, Mehmet
Spatial and seasonal differences in water quality of drainage water and unconfined shallow groundwater were related to irrigation in Samandağ, a Mediterranean coastal region. Eighteen wells, seven drainage points and Orontes River were monitored bimonthly for one year for analyses of electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), cations (Na, K, Ca + Mg) and anions (CO(3), HCO(3), Cl and SO(4)). Agricultural irrigation using saline groundwater decreased water quality of Orontes River during the irrigation season (May to September) more than during the non-irrigation season (October to April). Seasonal fluctuations in water quality of shallow groundwater were greater during the irrigation season than the non-irrigation season in the study area. Excessive use of groundwater resulted in a decline in the water table levels in the irrigation season. Water table level rose up to the soil surface in areas where there was a lack of drainage or poor drainage, due to the impact of precipitation in the winter. SAR and pH values of drainage water increased in the irrigation season, while the other properties of drainage water decreased. Irrigation water quality of Orontes River was classified as C(3)S(1) in both seasons. Irrigation water quality of shallow groundwater and drainage water varied from C(2)S(1) to C(4)S(2) in one year. Drainage and well waters were found to be different on yearly basis in terms of Na, SAR (p<0.01) and Ca + Mg concentrations (p<0.001). Ca + Mg concentrations for both sources were different for all sampling dates (p<0.001). PMID:16614781
Heinz, Emanuel; Kraft, Philipp; Buchen, Caroline; Frede, Hans-Georg; Aquino, Eugenio; Breuer, Lutz
We have developed a high-resolution automatic sampling system for continuous in situ measurements of stable water isotopic composition and nitrogen solutes along with hydrological information. The system facilitates concurrent monitoring of a large number of water and nutrient fluxes (ground, surface, irrigation and rain water) in irrigated agriculture. For this purpose we couple an automatic sampling system with a Wavelength-Scanned Cavity Ring Down Spectrometry System (WS-CRDS) for stable water isotope analysis (δ2H and δ18O), a reagentless hyperspectral UV photometer (ProPS) for monitoring nitrate content and various water level sensors for hydrometric information. The automatic sampling system consists of different sampling stations equipped with pumps, a switch cabinet for valve and pump control and a computer operating the system. The complete system is operated via internet-based control software, allowing supervision from nearly anywhere. The system is currently set up at the International Rice Research Institute (Los Baños, The Philippines) in a diversified rice growing system to continuously monitor water and nutrient fluxes. Here we present the system's technical set-up and provide initial proof-of-concept with results for the isotopic composition of different water sources and nitrate values from the 2012 dry season. PMID:24366178
Heinz, Emanuel; Kraft, Philipp; Buchen, Caroline; Frede, Hans-Georg; Aquino, Eugenio; Breuer, Lutz
We have developed a high-resolution automatic sampling system for continuous in situ measurements of stable water isotopic composition and nitrogen solutes along with hydrological information. The system facilitates concurrent monitoring of a large number of water and nutrient fluxes (ground, surface, irrigation and rain water) in irrigated agriculture. For this purpose we couple an automatic sampling system with a Wavelength-Scanned Cavity Ring Down Spectrometry System (WS-CRDS) for stable water isotope analysis (δ2H and δ18O), a reagentless hyperspectral UV photometer (ProPS) for monitoring nitrate content and various water level sensors for hydrometric information. The automatic sampling system consists of different sampling stations equipped with pumps, a switch cabinet for valve and pump control and a computer operating the system. The complete system is operated via internet-based control software, allowing supervision from nearly anywhere. The system is currently set up at the International Rice Research Institute (Los Baños, The Philippines) in a diversified rice growing system to continuously monitor water and nutrient fluxes. Here we present the system's technical set-up and provide initial proof-of-concept with results for the isotopic composition of different water sources and nitrate values from the 2012 dry season. PMID:24366178
Rao, N. S.; Easton, Z. M.; Lee, D. R.; Steenhuis, T. S.
Nutrient runoff from agricultural fields threatens water quality and can impair habitats in many watersheds. Agencies consider these potential risks as they determine acceptable levels of nutrient loading. For example, in the New York City (NYC) watershed, the Environmental Protection Agency's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for phosphorus (P) has been set at 15μg P L-1 to protect against eutrophication and bacterial outbreaks. In the NYC watersheds agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) are the primary means to control nonpoint source P loading. BMPs include riparian buffers, filter strips, manure storage facilities, crop rotation, stripcropping, tree planting and nutrient management plans (NMPs). Water quality research on BMPs to date has included studies on site-specificity of different BMPs, short and long term BMP efficacy, and placement of BMPs with respect to critical source areas. A necessary complement to studies addressing water quality aspects of different BMPs are studies examining the cost-benefit aspects of BMPs. In general, there are installment, maintenance and opportunity costs associated with each BMP, and there are benefits, including cost share agreements between farmers and farm agencies, and increased efficiency of farm production and maintenance. Combining water quality studies and related cost-benefit analyses would help planners and watershed managers determine how best improve water quality. Our research examines the costs-benefit structure associated with BMP scenarios on a one-farm headwater watershed in the Catskill Mountains of NY. The different scenarios include "with and without" BMPs, combinations of BMPs, and different BMP placements across agricultural fields. The costs associated with each BMP scenarios are determined using information from farm agencies and watershed planning agencies. With these data we perform a cost-benefit analysis for the different BMP scenarios and couple the water quality modeling using the
Determining the microbial quality of recreational, irrigation and shellfish-harvesting waters is important to ensure compliance with health-related standards and associated legislation. Animal faeces represent a significant human health risk, and concentrations of fecal indicator organisms (FIOs) pr...
At 715 km long, the Susquehanna River is the longest river on the east coast of the United States. The river originates at Otsego Lake in New York State and drains 71,225 km2 in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland before emptying into the Chesapeake Bay. Much of the impetus for surface water quality...
Jackson-Smith, Douglas B.; McEvoy, Jamie P.
We assess the long-term effectiveness of outreach and education efforts associated with a water quality improvement project in a watershed located in northern Utah, USA. Conducted 15 years after the original project began, our research examines the lasting impacts of different extension activities on landowners' motivations to participate and…
A 45% reduction in riverine total nitrogen flux from the 1980-1996 time period is needed to meet water quality goals in the Mississippi Basin and Gulf of Mexico. This paper addresses the goal of reducing nitrogen in the Mississippi River through three objectives. First, the paper outlines an approac...
Rolfe, John; Windle, Jill
Policymakers wanting to increase protection of the Great Barrier Reef from pollutants generated by agriculture need to identify when measures to improve water quality generate benefits to society that outweigh the costs involved. The research reported in this paper makes a contribution in several ways. First, it uses the improved science understanding about the links between management changes and reef health to bring together the analysis of costs and benefits of marginal changes, helping to demonstrate the appropriate way of addressing policy questions relating to reef protection. Second, it uses the scientific relationships to frame a choice experiment to value the benefits of improved reef health, with the results of mixed logit (random parameter) models linking improvements explicitly to changes in "water quality units." Third, the research demonstrates how protection values are consistent across a broader population, with some limited evidence of distance effects. Fourth, the information on marginal costs and benefits that are reported provide policymakers with information to help improve management decisions. The results indicate that while there is potential for water quality improvements to generate net benefits, high cost water quality improvements are generally uneconomic. A major policy implication is that cost thresholds for key pollutants should be set to avoid more expensive water quality proposals being selected.
Meals, D W
Achievement of management goals for Lake Champlain (Vermont/New York, USA and Quebec, Canada) will require reduction of agricultural phosphorus loads, the dominant nonpoint source in the Basin. Cost-effective phosphorus reduction strategies need reliable treatment techniques beyond basic cropland and waste management practices. The Lake Champlain Basin Agricultural Watersheds National Monitoring Program (NMP) Project evaluates the effectiveness of livestock exclusion, streambank protection, and riparian restoration practices in reducing concentrations and loads of nutrients, sediment, and bacteria in surface waters. Treatment and control watersheds in northwestern Vermont have been monitored since 1994 according to a paired-watershed design. Monitoring consists of continuous stream discharge recording, flow-proportional sampling for total P, total Kjeldahl N, and total suspended solids, grab sampling for indicator bacterial, and land use/agricultural monitoring. Strong statistical calibration between the control and treatment watersheds has been achieved. Installation of riparian fencing, protected stream crossings, and streambank bioengineering was completed in 1997. Early post-treatment data suggest significant reduction in P concentrations and loads and in bacteria counts in the treated watershed. Monitoring is scheduled to continue through 2000. PMID:11379130
Increasing demands on fresh water supplies by municipal and industrial users means decreased fresh water availability for irrigated agriculture in semi arid and arid regions. There is potential for agricultural use of treated wastewaters and low quality waters for irrigation but this will require co...
Rose, J. B.; Guber, A.; Porter, W. F.; Williams, D.; Tamrakar, S.; Dechen Quinn, A.
Both livestock and wildlife are major contributors of nonpoint pollution of surface water bodies. The interactions among them can substantially increase the chance of contamination especially in fragmented agriculture-forest landscapes, where wildlife (e.g. white tailed deer) can transmit diseases between remote farms. Unfortunately, models currently available for predicting fate and transport of microorganisms in these ecosystems do not account for such interactions. The objectives of this study are to develop and test a multimodeling framework that assesses the risk of microbial contamination of surface water caused by wildlife-livestock interactions in fragmented agriculture-forest ecosystems. The framework consists of a modified Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), KINematic Runoff and EROSion model (KINEROS2) with the add-on module STWIR (Microorganism Transport with Infiltration and Runoff), RAMAS GIS, SIR compartmental model and Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment model (QMRA). The watershed-scale model SWAT simulates plant biomass growth, wash-off of microorganisms from foliage and soil, overland and in-stream microbial transport, microbial growth, and die-off in foliage and soil. RAMAS GIS model predicts the most probable habitat and subsequent population of white-tailed deer based on land use and crop biomass. KINEROS-STWIR simulates overland transport of microorganisms released from soil, surface applied manure, and fecal deposits during runoff events at high temporal and special resolutions. KINEROS-STWIR and RAMAS GIS provide input for an SIR compartmental model which simulates disease transmission within and between deer groups. This information is used in SWAT model to account for transmission and deposition of pathogens by white tailed deer in stream water, foliage and soil. The QMRA approach extends to microorganisms inactivated in forage and water consumed by deer. Probabilities of deer infections and numbers of infected animals are computed
Williams, Mark R; Buda, Anthony R; Elliott, Herschel A; Collick, Amy S; Dell, Curtis; Kleinman, Peter J A
Riparian seepage zones in headwater agricultural watersheds represent important sources of nitrate-nitrogen (NO-N) to surface waters, often connecting N-rich groundwater systems to streams. In this study, we examined how NO-N concentrations in seep and stream water were affected by NO-N processing along seep surface flow paths and by upslope applications of N from fertilizers and manures. The research was conducted in two headwater agricultural watersheds, FD36 (40 ha) and RS (45 ha), which are fed, in part, by a shallow fractured aquifer system possessing high (3-16 mg L) NO-N concentrations. Data from in-seep monitoring showed that NO-N concentrations generally decreased downseep (top to bottom), indicating that most seeps retained or removed a fraction of delivered NO-N (16% in FD36 and 1% in RS). Annual mean N applications in upslope fields (as determined by yearly farmer surveys) were highly correlated with seep NO-N concentrations in both watersheds (slope: 0.06; = 0.79; < 0.001). Strong positive relationships also existed between seep and stream NO-N concentrations in FD36 (slope: 1.01; = 0.79; < 0.001) and in RS (slope: 0.64; = 0.80; < 0.001), further indicating that N applications control NO-N concentrations at the watershed scale. Our findings clearly point to NO-N leaching from upslope agricultural fields as the primary driver of NO-N losses from seeps to streams in these watersheds and therefore suggest that appropriate management strategies (cover crops, limiting fall/winter nutrient applications, decision support tools) be targeted in these zones. PMID:26024271
Minks, Kyle R; Ruark, Matthew D; Lowery, Birl; Madison, Fred W; Frame, Dennis; Stuntebeck, Todd D; Komiskey, Matthew J; Kraft, George J
Decades of farming and fertilization of farm land in the unglaciated/Driftless Area (DA) of southwestern Wisconsin have resulted in the build-up of P and to some extent, N, in soils. This build-up, combined with steep topography and upper and lower elevation farming (tiered farming), exacerbates problems associated with runoff and nutrient transport in these landscapes. Use of an at-grade stabilization structure (AGSS) as an additional conservation practice to contour strip cropping and no-tillage, proved to be successful in reducing organic and sediment bound N and P within an agricultural watershed located in the DA. The research site was designed as a paired watershed study, in which monitoring stations were installed on the perennial streams draining both control and treatment watersheds. Linear mixed effects statistics were used to determine significant changes in nutrient concentrations before and after installation of an AGSS. Results indicate a significant reduction in storm event total P (TP) concentrations (P = 0.01) within the agricultural watershed after installation of the AGSS, but not total dissolved P (P = 0.23). This indicates that the reduction in P concentration is that of the particulate form. Storm event organic N concentrations were also significantly reduced (P = 0.03) after the AGSS was installed. We conclude that AGSS was successful in reducing the organic and sediment bound N and P concentrations in runoff waters thus reducing their delivery to nearby surface waters. PMID:25657061
Miltner, Robert J
Over the last three decades, significant investments made to upgrade wastewater infrastructure and manage pollution from diffuse sources have resulted in measurably improved water quality and biological conditions in Ohio's rivers and streams. Conservation measures to reduce soil loss appear to have contributed significantly to the improvement witnessed over the last two decades and should therefore be continued. Within the most recent timeframe examined, little difference was found in either total phosphorus or suspended sediment concentration in relation to conservation measures, indicating that the environmental benefits of measures targeting soil loss may be approaching an asymptote. Conservation measures targeting livestock and forage management, however, appear to have reduced nitrogen concentrations within the recent time frame. An examination of the interrelationships between habitat quality, conservation measures, and land use indicated that water quality was generally mediated by interactions with stream habitat quality. However, the positive effect of habitat quality was reduced in catchments draining fine-textured soils. The implication of these latter two findings suggest that proscriptively adding natural function to the large network of ditched and maintained conveyances draining agricultural lands would substantially improve water quality, but management at the field level is necessary to minimize phosphorus losses. PMID:26641334
Suen, C. J.; Wang, D.
The San Joaquin Valley of California covers 4 million hectares of farmland and produces $25 billion of agricultural products annually, but its average annual rainfall ranges from only 130 mm in the south to 330 mm in the north and nearly all occur in the winter. On the east side of the valley, irrigation water is mostly derived from the Sierra snow melt. On the west side, water is imported from the northern part of the state through the Sacramento Delta and a network of canals and aqueducts. Ground water is also used for both east and west sides of the valley to supplement surface water sources, especially during droughts. After years of intense irrigation, a number of water supply and water quality issues have emerged. They include groundwater overdraft, land subsidence, water contamination by agricultural drainage laden with selenium, salinity buildup in soil and water, nutrients contamination from fertilizers and livestock production, competition for water with megalopolis and environmental use and restoration. All these problems are intensified by the effect of climate change that has already taken place and other geological hazards, such as earthquakes that can bring the water supply system to a complete halt. In addition to scientific and technical considerations, solutions for these complex issues necessarily involve management planning, public policy and actions. Currently, they include furloughing marginally productive lands, groundwater recharge and banking, water reuse and recycle, salinity and nutrient management, integrated regional water management planning, and public education and outreach. New laws have been enacted to better monitor groundwater elevations, and new bond measures to improve storage, infrastructures, and reliability, have been placed on the public ballot. The presentation will discuss these complex water issues.
Udeigwe, Theophilus K; Eze, Peter N; Teboh, Jasper M; Stietiya, Mohammed H
Contaminants such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), arsenic (As), heavy metals, and infectious pathogens are often associated with agricultural systems. Various soil and water remediation techniques including the use of chemical amendments have been employed to reduce the risks associated with these contaminants. This paper reviews the use of chemical amendments for immobilizing principal agricultural contaminants, the chemistry of contaminant immobilization, and the environmental consequences associated with the use of these chemical products. The commonly used chemical amendments were grouped into aluminum-, calcium-, and iron-containing products. Other products of interest include phosphorus-containing compounds and silicate clays. Mechanisms of contaminant immobilization could include one or a combination of the following: surface precipitation, adsorption to mineral surfaces (ion exchange and formation of stable complexes), precipitation as salts, and co-precipitation. The reaction pH, redox potential, clay minerals, and organic matter are potential factors that could control contaminant-immobilization processes. Reviews of potential environmental implications revealed that undesirable substances such as trace elements, fluoride, sulfate, total dissolved solids, as well as radioactive materials associated with some industrial wastes used as amendment could be leached to ground water or lost through runoff to receiving water bodies. The acidity or alkalinity associated with some of the industrial-waste amendments could also constitute a substantial environmental hazard. Chemical amendments could introduce elements capable of inducing or affecting the activities of certain lithotrophic microbes that could influence vital geochemical processes such as mineral dissolution and formation, weathering, and organic matter mineralization. PMID:20832118
Aitken, M N
The objective was to investigate the potential risk of faecal indicator organism (FIO) bacteriological contamination of river catchments and coastal bathing waters from farm management practices and to develop practices to reduce the risk. A risk assessment on 117 farms was carried out in two river catchments in south-west Scotland. Manure storage facilities, farming practices, field conditions and catchment characteristics were assessed. River samples at 33 locations were regularly taken and analysed for FIOs. Available manure storage capacity and farm management practices are inadequate on a high proportion of farms and FIO contamination of watercourses was likely the result of effluent transported into watercourses due to non-collection or poor containment. In addition, surface run-off or leaching following land application of manure or intensive stocking in adverse conditions was a high risk on up to 50% of farms. The concentrations of FIOs in the streams of two sub-catchments with high livestock intensity was 4 to 8 times higher compared to the two sub-catchments which had a low livestock intensity. The majority of potential risks of agricultural pollution to watercourses may be eliminated through improved manure and dirty water management, forward planning of manure spreading activities and improved operational procedures. PMID:15137173
Schuetz, Tobias; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal; Durand, Patrick; Weiler, Markus
Several controls are known to affect water quality of stream networks during flow recession periods, such as solute leaching processes, surface water-groundwater interactions as well as biogeochemical in-stream turnover processes. Throughout the stream network, combinations of specific water and solute export rates and local in-stream conditions overlay the biogeochemical signals from upstream sections. Therefore, upstream sections can be considered functional units which could be distinguished and ordered regarding their relative contribution to nutrient dynamics at the catchment outlet. Based on snapshot sampling of flow and nitrate concentrations along the stream in an agricultural headwater during the summer flow recession period, we determined spatial and temporal patterns of water quality for the whole stream. A data-driven, in-stream-mixing-and-removal model was developed and applied for analysing the spatio-temporal in-stream retention processes and their effect on the spatio-temporal fluxes of nitrate from subcatchments. Thereby, we have been able to distinguish quantitatively between nitrate sinks, sources per stream reaches, and subcatchments, and thus we could disentangle the overlay of nitrate sink and source signals. For nitrate sources, we determined their permanent and temporal impact on stream water quality and for nitrate sinks, we found increasing nitrate removal efficiencies from upstream to downstream. Our results highlight the importance of distinct nitrate source locations within the watershed for in-stream concentrations and in-stream removal processes, respectively. Thus, our findings contribute to the development of a more dynamic perception of water quality in streams and rivers concerning ecological and sustainable water resource management.
Schuetz, T.; Gascuel-Odoux, C.; Durand, P.; Weiler, M.
Several controls are known to affect water quality of stream networks during flow recession periods such as solute leaching processes, surface water - groundwater interactions as well as biogeochemical in-stream retention processes. Throughout the stream network combinations of specific water and solute export rates and local in-stream conditions overlay the biogeochemical signals from upstream sections. Therefore, upstream sections can be considered as functional units which could be distinguished and ordered regarding their relative contribution to nutrient dynamics at the catchment outlet. Based on synoptic sampling of flow and nitrate concentrations along the stream in an agricultural headwater during the summer flow recession period, we determined spatial and temporal patterns of water quality for the whole stream. A data-driven, in-stream-mixing-and-removal model was developed and applied for analyzing the spatio-temporal in-stream retention processes and their effect on the spatio-temporal fluxes of nitrates from sub-catchments. Thereby, we have been able to distinguish between nitrate sinks and sources per stream reaches and sub-catchments. For nitrate sources we have determined their permanent and temporally impact on stream water quality and for nitrate sinks we have found increasing nitrate removal efficiencies from up- to downstream. Our results highlight the importance of distinct nitrate source locations within the watershed for in-stream concentrations and in-stream removal processes, respectively. Thus, our findings contribute to the development of a more dynamic perception of water quality in streams and rivers concerning ecological and sustainable water resources management.
Ha, M.; Wu, M. M.
Sustainable biofuel feedstock production — environmental sustainability and economic sustainability — may be achieved by using a multi-faceted approach. This study focuses on quantifying the water sustainability of an integrated landscaping strategy, by which current land use and land management, cropping system, agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs), and economics play equal roles. The strategy was applied to the South Fork watershed, IA, including the tributaries of Tipton and Beaver Creeks, which expand to 800-km2 drainage areas. The watershed is an agricultural dominant area covered with row-crops production. On the basis of profitability, switchgrass was chosen as a replacement for row crops in low-productivity land. Areas for harvesting agricultural residue were selected on the basis of soil conservation principals. Double cropping with a cover crop was established to further reduce soil loss. Vegetation buffer strips were in place at fields and in riparian areas for water quality control, resource conservation, and eco service improvement. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied to evaluate source reduction under various management schemes and land use changes. SWAT modeling incorporated 10-yr meteorological information, soil data, land slope classification, land use, four-year crop-rotation cycle, and management operations. Tile drain and pothole parameters were modeled to assess the fate and transport of nutrients. The influence of landscape management and cropping systems on nitrogen and phosphorus loadings, erosion process, and hydrological performance at the sub-watershed scale was analyzed and key factors identified. Results suggest strongly that incorporating agricultural BMPs and conservation strategies into integrated landscape management for certain energy crops in row-crop production regions can be economical and environmentally sustainable.
Alpers, Charles N.; Fleck, Jacob A.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Stricker, Craig A.; Stephenson, Mark; Taylor, Howard E.
The seasonal and spatial variability of water quality, including mercury species, was evaluated in agricultural and managed, non-agricultural wetlands in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, an area managed for multiple beneficial uses including bird habitat and rice farming. The study was conducted during an 11-month period (June 2007 to April 2008) that included a summer growing season and flooded conditions during winter. Methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in surface water varied over a wide range (0.1 to 37 ng L−1 unfiltered; 0.04 to 7.3 ng L−1 filtered). Maximum MeHg values are among the highest ever recorded in wetlands. Highest MeHg concentrations in unfiltered surface water were observed in drainage from wild rice fields during harvest (September 2007), and in white rice fields with decomposing rice straw during regional flooding (February 2008). The ratio of MeHg to total mercury (MeHg/THg) increased about 20-fold in both unfiltered and filtered water during the growing season (June to August 2007) in the white and wild rice fields, and about 5-fold in fallow fields (July to August 2007), while there was little to no change in MeHg/THg in the permanent wetland. Sulfate-bearing fertilizer had no effect on Hg(II) methylation, as sulfate-reducing bacteria were not sulfate limited in these agricultural wetlands. Concentrations of MeHg in filtered and unfiltered water correlated with filtered Fe, filtered Mn, DOC, and two indicators of sulfate reduction: the SO4 2 −/Cl− ratio, and δ34S in aqueous sulfate. These relationships suggest that microbial reduction of SO4 2−, Fe(III), and possibly Mn(IV) may contribute to net Hg(II)-methylation in this setting.
schipper, peter; stuyt, lodewijk; straat, van der, andre; schans, van der, martin
Despite best management practices, agriculture is still facing major challenges to reduce nutrients leaching to the aquatic environment. In deltas, most of total nutrient losses from artificially drained agricultural soils are discharged via drains. Controlled drainage is a promising measure to prevent drainage of valuable nutrients, improve water quality and agricultural yield and adapt to climate change (reduce peak runoff, manage water scarcity and drought). In The Netherlands, this technique has attracted much attention by water managers and farmers alike, yet field studies to determine the expected (positive) effects for Dutch conditions were scarce. Recently, a field experiment was set up on clay soils. Research questions were: how does controlled, subsurface drainage perform on clay soils? Will deeper tile drains function just as well? What are the effects on drain water quality (especially with respect to nitrogen and salt) and crop yield? An agricultural field on clay soils was used to test different tile drainage configurations. Four types of tile drainage systems were installed, all in duplicate: eight plots in total. Each plot has its own outlet to a control box, where equipment was installed to control drain discharge and to measure the flow, concentrations of macro-ions, pH, nitrogen, N-isotopes and heavy metals. In each plot, groundwater observation wells and suction cups are installed in the saturated and vadose zones, at different depths, and crop yield is determined. Four plots discharge into a hydrologic isolated ditch, enabling the determination of water- and nutrient balances. Automatic drain water samplers and innovative nitrate sensors were installed in four plots. These enable identification and unravelling so-called first flush effects (changes in concentrations after a storm event). Water-, chloride- and nitrogen balances have been set up, and the interaction between groundwater and surface water has been quantified. The hydrological
Dunn, S M; Sample, J; Potts, J; Abel, C; Cook, Y; Taylor, C; Vinten, A J A
Across the EU, programmes of measures have been introduced as part of river basin management planning as a means of tackling problems of diffuse pollution from agriculture. Evidence is required to demonstrate the effectiveness of these measures and with this overarching objective, monitoring of an agricultural catchment in Eastern Scotland was initiated in 2007. As a precursor to evaluating the effect of new management measures it is essential to understand how other factors, including hydrology and land use changes, could have influenced water quality. This study undertook an analysis of the trends in concentrations and loads of nitrate, soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), suspended solids (SS) and turbidity measured at six points in the catchment over a six year period. The results identified both differing trends between determinands and differing trends occurring over varying spatial scales. The only direct relationships between land use and water quality that could be identified based on annual data was a positive link between arable cropping and nitrate concentrations. At the sub-catchment scale some temporal changes in land use and management explained short-term trends in nitrate but not in SRP. Lags in the system were identified due to soil adsorption, in-stream/loch processing and groundwater transport making the identification of cause and effect problematic. The results have implications for the demonstration of effectiveness of measures over the shorter term and the timescales of recovery from diffuse pollution. Longer term monitoring at small scales will be important in this regard. PMID:24718675
Due to the substantial effect of agriculture on the ability of wetlands to function, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) serves a key role in wetland conservation and restoration. In order for the USDA to allocate funds to best manage wetlands, a better understanding of wetland functioning is ...
Entry, James A; Gottlieb, Andrew
Half of the original Everglades system has been lost to drainage and development. What remains is included within the boundaries of the Everglades Protection Area (EPA), comprised of three Water Conservation Areas (WCAs) and Everglades National Park (Park). Inflows to the EPA contain elevated nutrient concentrations. Best management practices (BMPs) were implemented and six large wetlands called stormwater treatment areas (STAs) were constructed to improve water quality. We analyzed water quality in the WCAs and Park and performed an economic analysis of the STAs to remove nutrients from EPA inflows. In general, nutrient concentrations in all WCAs were higher during the pre-STA period than after the STAs became operational. In WCA2 and the Park, total phosphorus (TP) trends showed more negative slopes prior, as compared to after, the STAs became operational. These results suggest that BMPs lead to large initial decreases in nutrient export resulting in improved downstream water quality. A preliminary economic analysis shows that operation and management of the STAs are complicated and cost intensive. Comparing the cost of phosphorus (P) removal from water entering the EPA using BMPs and STAs may not currently be viable. BMPs prevent P from being applied to, or leaving from agricultural fields while STAs remove P from stormwater. We expect nutrient concentrations in water flowing into and out of the STAs to decline as both BMPs and STAs become more effective. We suggest an economic analysis of BMPs, STAs, and other potential approaches to determine the most cost-effective methods to reduce nutrient concentrations and related stressors affecting the Everglades. PMID:24081816
Stadler, Philipp; Farnleitner, Andreas H.; Sommer, Regina; Kumpan, Monika; Zessner, Matthias
For the near real time and on-site detection of microbiological fecal pollution of water, the measurement of beta-D- Glucuronidase (GLUC) enzymatic activity has been suggested as a surrogate parameter and has been already successfully operated for water quality monitoring of ground water resources (Ryzinska-Paier et al. 2014). Due to possible short measure intervals of three hours, this method has high potential as a water quality monitoring tool. While cultivation based standard determination takes more than one working day (Cabral 2010) the potential advantage of detecting the GLUC activity is the high temporal measuring resolution. Yet, there is still a big gap of knowledge on the fecal indication capacity of GLUC (specificity, sensitivity, persistence, etc.) in relation to potential pollution sources and catchment conditions (Cabral 2010, Ryzinska-Paier et al. 2014). Furthermore surface waters are a big challenge for automated detection devices in a technical point of view due to the high sediment load during event conditions. This presentation shows results gained form two years of monitoring in an experimental catchment (HOAL) dominated by agricultural land use. Two enzymatic measurement devices are operated parallel at the catchment outlet to test the reproducibility and precision of the method. Data from continuous GLUC monitoring under both base flow and event conditions is compared with reference samples analyzed by standardized laboratory methods for fecal pollution detection (e.g. ISO 16649-1, Colilert18). It is shown that rapid enzymatic on-site GLUC determination can successfully be operated from a technical point of view for surface water quality monitoring under the observed catchment conditions. The comparison of enzyme activity with microbiological standard analytics reveals distinct differences in the dynamic of the signals during event conditions. Cabral J. P. S. (2010) "Water Microbiology. Bacterial Pathogens and Water" International Journal of
de Vries, W; McLaughlin, M J
The historical build up and future cadmium (Cd) concentrations in top soils and in crops of four Australian agricultural systems are predicted with a mass balance model, focusing on the period 1900-2100. The systems include a rotation of dryland cereals, a rotation of sugarcane and peanuts/soybean, intensive dairy production and intensive horticulture. The input of Cd to soil is calculated from fertilizer application and atmospheric deposition and also examines options including biosolid and animal manure application in the sugarcane rotation and dryland cereal production systems. Cadmium output from the soil is calculated from leaching to deeper horizons and removal with the harvested crop or with livestock products. Parameter values for all Cd fluxes were based on a number of measurements on Australian soil-plant systems. In the period 1900-2000, soil Cd concentrations were predicted to increase on average between 0.21 mg kg(-1) in dryland cereals, 0.42 mg kg(-1) in intensive agriculture and 0.68 mg kg(-1) in dairy production, which are within the range of measured increases in soils in these systems. Predicted soil concentrations exceed critical soil Cd concentrations, based on food quality criteria for Cd in crops during the simulation period in clay-rich soils under dairy production and intensive horticulture. Predicted dissolved Cd concentrations in soil pore water exceed a ground water quality criterion of 2 μg l(-1) in light textured soils, except for the sugarcane rotation due to large water leaching fluxes. Results suggest that the present fertilizer Cd inputs in Australia are in excess of the long-term critical loads in heavy-textured soils for dryland cereals and that all other systems are at low risk. Calculated critical Cd/P ratios in P fertilizers vary from <50 to >1000 mg Cd kg P(-1) for the different soil, crop and environmental conditions applied. PMID:23735719
Barker, J. L. (Editor)
The excellent quality of TM data allows researchers to proceed directly with applications analyses, without spending a significant amount of time applying various corrections to the data. The early results derived of TM data are discussed for the following applications: agriculture, land cover/land use, soils, geology, hydrology, wetlands biomass, water quality, and snow.
The study moves from a concern for maximizing crop production on a single plot, or farm, to evaluating large-area agricultural systems in order to maximize economic gains under the constraint of minimizing pollution resulting from return flows. To accomplish this objective may re...
Brauman, K. A.; Richter, B. D.; Postel, S.; Floerke, M.; Malsy, M.
Irrigated agriculture is the human activity that has by far the largest impact on water, constituting 85% of global water consumption and 67% of global water withdrawals. Much of this water use occurs in places where water depletion, the ratio of water consumption to water availability, exceeds 75% for at least one month of the year. Although only 17% of global watershed area experiences depletion at this level or more, nearly 30% of total cropland and 60% of irrigated cropland are found in these depleted watersheds. Staple crops are particularly at risk, with 75% of global irrigated wheat production and 65% of irrigated maize production found in watersheds that are at least seasonally depleted. Of importance to textile production, 75% of cotton production occurs in the same watersheds. For crop production in depleted watersheds, we find that one half to two-thirds of production occurs in watersheds that have not just seasonal but annual water shortages, suggesting that re-distributing water supply over the course of the year cannot be an effective solution to shortage. We explore the degree to which irrigated production in depleted watersheds reflects limitations in supply, a byproduct of the need for irrigation in perennially or seasonally dry landscapes, and identify heavy irrigation consumption that leads to watershed depletion in more humid climates. For watersheds that are not depleted, we evaluate the potential impact of an increase in irrigated production. Finally, we evaluate the benefits of irrigated agriculture in depleted and non-depleted watersheds, quantifying the fraction of irrigated production going to food production, animal feed, and biofuels.
Allam, Ayman; Fleifle, Amr; Tawfik, Ahmed; Yoshimura, Chihiro; El-Saadi, Aiman
The suitability of agricultural drainage water (ADW) for reuse in irrigation was indexed based on a simulation of quality and quantity. The ADW reuse index (DWRI) has two components; the first one indicates the suitability of water quality (QLT) for reuse in irrigation based on the mixing ratio of ADW to canal irrigation water without violating the standards of using mixed water in irrigation, while the second indicates the available water quantity (QNT) based on the ratio of the available ADW to the required reuse discharge to meet the irrigation requirements alongside the drain. The QLT and QNT values ranged from 0 to ≥3 and from 0 to ≥0.40, respectively. Correspondingly, five classes from excellent to poor and from high scarcity to no scarcity were proposed to classify the QLT and QNT values, respectively. This approach was then applied to the Gharbia drain in the Nile Delta, Egypt, combined with QUAL2Kw simulations in the summer and winter of 2012. The QLT values along the drain ranged from 1.11 to 2.91 and 0.68 to 1.73 for summer and winter, respectively. Correspondingly, the QLT classes ranged from good to very good and from fair to good, respectively. In regard to QNT, values ranged from 0.10 to 0.62 and from 0.10 to 0.88 for summer and winter, respectively. Correspondingly, the QNT classes ranged from medium scarcity to no scarcity for both seasons. The demonstration of DWRI in the Gharbia drain suggests that the proposed index presents a simple tool for spatially evaluating the suitability of ADW for reuse in irrigation. PMID:26196072
Quinn, N.W.T.; Delamore, M.L.
Since the discovery of selenium toxicosis in the Kesterson Reservoir in the San Joaquin Valley, California, public perception of irrigated agriculture as a benign competitor for California`s developed water supply has been changed irrevocably. Subsurface return flows from irrigated agriculture were implicated as the source of selenium which led to incidents of reproductive failure in waterfowl and threatened survival of other fish and wildlife species. Stringent water quality objectives were promulgated to protect rivers, tributaries, sloughs and other water bodies receiving agricultural discharges from selenium contamination. Achieving these objectives was left to the agricultural water districts, federal and state agencies responsible for drainage and water quality enforcement in the San Joaquin Basin. This paper describes some of the strategies to improve management of water resources and water quality in response to these new environmental objectives. Similar environmental objectives will likely be adopted by other developed and developing countries with large regions of arid zone agriculture and susceptible wildlife resources. A series of simulation models have been developed over the past four years to evaluate regional drainage management strategies such as: irrigation source control; drainage recycling; selective retirement of agricultural land; regional shallow ground water pumping; coordination of agricultural drainage, wetland and reservoir releases; and short-term ponding of drainage water. A new generation of Geographic Information Service-based software is under development to bridge the gap between planning and program implementation. Use of the decision support system will allow water districts and regulators to continuously monitor drainage discharges to the San Joaquin River in real-time and to assess impacts of management strategies that have been implemented to take advantage of the River`s assimilative capacity for trace elements and salts.
Wittman, Jacob; Weckwerth, Andrew; Weiss, Chelsea; Heyer, Sharon; Seibert, Jacob; Kuennen, Ben; Ingels, Chad; Seigley, Lynette; Larsen, Kirk; Enos-Berlage, Jodi
Pathogens are the number one cause of impairments of assessed rivers and streams in the USA and pose a significant human health hazard. The Dry Run Creek Watershed in Northeast Iowa has been designated as impaired by the State of Iowa because of high levels of Escherichia coli bacteria. To investigate the nature of this impairment, land use and stream bank assessments were coupled with comprehensive water quality monitoring. Physical, chemical, and biological parameters were measured at 13 different sites in the watershed, including pH, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, ammonia-N, nitrate + nitrite-N, total phosphorus, and E. coli. In addition, benthic macroinvertebrate communities were analyzed at seven sites, and optical brightener tests were performed late in the season. Results identified segments of the watershed that were more prominent contributors of E. coli, and correlations were observed between levels of E. coli and several chemical parameters, including ammonia-N, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, and total phosphorus. Interestingly, distinct sites emerged as more prominent contributors of these elements during rain vs. non-rain events, suggesting different types of sources. Both the amount of rainfall and the time elapsed between the rain event and the sampling influenced E. coli levels during wet weather conditions. Nitrate + nitrite-N displayed a unique response to rain events compared with the other parameters, suggesting a different delivery route. Analyses of benthic macroinvertebrate communities were consistent with pollution trends. Collectively, these data suggest distinct agriculturally related E. coli contributions, as well as specific areas and practices for water quality improvement strategies. This study can serve as a resource for evaluating agricultural watersheds that are impaired for bacteria. PMID:23873513
Drainage is needed to sustain agricultural production to meet the demands of a growing global population, but it also transports nutrients from fields to surface water bodies. The State of Ohio is facing the tremendous challenge of maintaining agricultural production while protecting the environment...
The evaluation of agricultural practices through monitoring and modeling is necessary for the development of more effective conservation programs and policies. No-till and reduced-till are both agricultural conservation practices widely promoted for their proven ability to conserve water and reduce ...
Harned, Douglas A.
The effects of selected agricultural land-management practices on water quality were assessed in a comparative study of four small basins in the Piedmont province of North Carolina. Agricultural practices, such as tillage and applications of fertilizer and pesticides, are major sources of sediment, nutrients, and pesticides in surface water, and of nutrients and pesticides in ground water. The four study basins included two adjacent row-crop fields, a mixed land-use basin, and a forested basin. One of the row-crop fields (7.4 acres) was farmed by using conservation land-management (CLM) practices, which included strip cropping, contour plowing, field borders, and grassed waterways. The other row-crop field (4.8 acres) was farmed by using standard land-management (SLM) practices, which included continuous cropping, straight-row plowing without regard to land topography, and poorly maintained waterways. The mixed land-use basin (665 acres) was monitored to compare water quality in surface water as SLM practices were converted to CLM practices during the project. The forested basin (44 acres) provided background surface-water hydrologic and chemical-quality conditions. Surface-water flow was reduced by 18 percent by CLM practices compared to surface-water flow from the SLM practices basin. The thickness of the unsaturated zone in the row-crop basins ranged from a few feet to 25 feet. Areas with thick unsaturated zones have a greater capacity to intercept and store nutrients and pesticides than do areas with thinner zones. Sediment concentrations and yields for the SLM practices basin were considerably higher than those for the other basins. The median sediment concentration in surface water for the SLM basin was 3.4 times that of the CLM basin, 8.2 times that of the mixed land-use basin, and 38.4 times that of the forested basin. The total sediment yield for the SLM basin was 2.3 times that observed for the CLM basin, 14.1 times that observed for the mixed land
This manual was develped to provide an overview of microfiltration and ultrafiltration technology for operators, administrators, engineers, scientists, educators, and anyone seeking an introduction to these processes. Chapters on theory, water quality, applications, design, equip...
Steele, T.D.; Stefan, H.G.
Significant contributions in the broad area of water quality over the quadrennium 1975-78 are highlighted. This summare is concerned primarily with physical and chemical aspects of water quality. The diversity of subject areas within the topic heading and the large volume of published research results necessitated the selection of representative contributions. Over 400 references are cited which are believed to be indicative of general trends in research and of the more important developments during this period.- from Authors
Essaid, Hedeff I.; Baker, Nancy T.; McCarthy, Kathleen A.
Surplus nitrogen (N) estimates, principal component analysis (PCA), and end-member mixing analysis (EMMA) were used in a multisite comparison contrasting the fate of N in diverse agricultural watersheds. We applied PCA-EMMA in 10 watersheds located in Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, Mississippi, and Washington ranging in size from 5 to 1254 km2 with four nested watersheds. Watershed Surplus N was determined by subtracting estimates of crop uptake and volatilization from estimates of N input from atmospheric deposition, plant fixation, fertilizer, and manure for the period from 1987 to 2004. Watershed average Surplus N ranged from 11 to 52 kg N ha−1 and from 9 to 32% of N input. Solute concentrations in streams, overland runoff, tile drainage, groundwater (GW), streambeds, and the unsaturated zone were used in the PCA-EMMA procedure to identify independent components contributing to observed stream concentration variability and the end-members contributing to streamflow and NO3 load. End-members included dilute runoff, agricultural runoff, benthic-processing, tile drainage, and oxic and anoxic GW. Surplus N was larger in watersheds with more permeable soils (Washington, Nebraska, and Maryland) that allowed greater infiltration, and oxic GW was the primary source of NO3 load. Subsurface transport of NO3 in these watersheds resulted in some removal of Surplus N by denitrification. In less permeable watersheds (Iowa, Indiana, and Mississippi), NO3 was rapidly transported to the stream by tile drainage and runoff with little removal. Evidence of streambed removal of NO3 by benthic diatoms was observed in the larger watersheds.
Salmon-Monviola, Jordy; Moreau, Pierre; Benhamou, Cyril; Durand, Patrick; Merot, Philippe; Oehler, François; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal
Climate change and increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration can lead to disturbances in the global hydrological and nitrogen (N) cycling, and losses in catchment systems. Potential impacts on water and N cycling have been studied in large catchments with a variety of land uses but less attention has focused on agricultural headwater catchments. Despite their relatively small dimensions, headwater catchments of 1-10 km² play a dominant role in N transformations in the landscape, and streams in such catchments may have major impacts on downstream water quantity and quality. This issue is particular important for agricultural catchment which have to reach the WFD targets, where land use changes has to be analysed in combination with climate change. The effects of climate change and rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 have been studied on (1) changes in hydrological and N balance components on a yearly basis and (2) the seasonal dynamics of water and N fluxes. The spatially distributed agro-hydrological model TNT2 (Topography-based nitrogen Transfers and Transformations) driven by ARPEGE (Action de Recherche Petite Echelle Grande Echelle) climate-model outputs from A1B scenario have been applied on the Kervidy-Naizin headwater catchment (western France), a long term hydrological observatory. Consideration of atmospheric CO2 concentration was implemented at two levels in TNT2: i) to account for the CO2 effect on stomatal conductance TNT2; ii) to consider effect of CO2 on biomass growth. Climate data from ARPEGE model, corrected with the quantile-quantile bias correction method, over 30-year simulation periods were used as TNT2 input (Salmon-Monviola et al., in review). With increased CO2, the main trends in water balance were a significant decrease in annual actual evapotranspiration, a moderate decrease in annual discharge and wetland extent, and a decrease in spring and summer of groundwater recharge and soil water content. Not considering the effects of
Renwick, William H; Vanni, Michael J; Zhang, Qianyi; Patton, Jon
Sediment and nutrient concentrations in surface water in agricultural regions are strongly influenced by agricultural activities. In the Corn Belt, recent changes in farm management practices are likely to affect water quality, yet there are few data on these linkages at the landscape scale. We report on trends in concentrations of N as ammonium (NH(4)) and nitrate (NO(3)), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), and suspended sediment (SS) in three Corn Belt streams with drainage areas of 12 to 129 km(2) for 1994 through 2006. During this period, there has been an increase in conservation tillage, a decline in fertilizer use, and consolidation of animal feeding operations in our study watersheds and throughout the Corn Belt. We use an autoregressive moving average model to include the effects of discharge and season on concentrations, LOWESS plots, and analyses of changes in the relation between discharge and concentration. We found significant declines in mean monthly concentrations of NH(4) at all three streams over the 13-yr period, declines in SRP and SS in two of the three streams, and a decline in NO(3) in one stream. When trend coefficients are converted to percent per year and weighted by drainage, area changes in concentration are -8.5% for NH(4), -5.9% for SRP, -6.8% for SS, and -0.8% for NO(3). Trends in total N and P are strongly tied to trends in NO(3), SRP, and SS and indicate that total P is declining, whereas total N is not. PMID:18689748
Paul, Angela P.; Seiler, Ralph L.; Rowe, Timothy G.; Rosen, Michael R.
Within the Western United States, agricultural and rural lands are being developed into commercial and residential areas. With changes in land use and increasing population, greater demands are placed on water resources for agricultural, industrial, and domestic supplies. Many areas in the Western United States rely exclusively on ground water as their source of drinking water. Areas that use surface-water resources often need to supplement this supply with ground water. Generally, shallow ground water is susceptible to fluctuating water quality within relatively short time scales and therefore can be used as an indicator of land-use stresses that may, in time, affect deep aquifer systems. This regional study examines data on shallow ground-water quality collected from 1993 to 2004 from 273 agricultural and 181 urban wells from 7 U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment study units in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, south-central Colorado, and Utah. This report determines important influences that land-use practices may have on the quality of recently recharged ground water, which may ultimately affect deep water supplies within the region. The results of this investigation show that nitrate, the principal species of nitrogen present in ground water, exceeds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 milligrams per liter in water from more than 25 percent of agricultural wells and 10 percent of urban wells. In agricultural areas, the probability of exceeding the USEPA MCL for nitrate is influenced primarily by three factors: fertilizer use, irrigation, and aquifer oxidation-reduction (redox) conditions. At the study-unit level, differences in nutrient concentrations between agricultural and urban land use likely are influenced by ground-water redox conditions within respective aquifer systems. The most commonly detected pesticides belonged to the triazine, urea, amide, and carbamate classes. The
Rocha, João; Roebeling, Peter; Rial-Rivas, María Ermitas
The extensive use of fertilizers has become one of the most challenging environmental issues in agricultural catchment areas. In order to reduce the negative impacts from agricultural activities and to accomplish the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive we must consider the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. In this study, we assess sustainable agricultural practices based on reductions in N-fertilizer application rates (from 100% to 0%) and N-application methods (single, split and slow-release) across key agricultural land use classes in the Vouga catchment, Portugal. The SWAT model was used to relate sustainable agricultural practices, agricultural yields and N-NO3 water pollution deliveries. Results show that crop yields as well as N-NO3 exportation rates decrease with reductions in N-application rates and single N-application methods lead to lower crop yields and higher N-NO3 exportation rates as compared to split and slow-release N-application methods. PMID:26196068
Water quality is influenced by the interaction of processes that occur in multiple landscape elements (e.g., agricultural fields, forests, urban areas, and wetlands). Wetlands are hydrologically dynamic ecosystems that have the potential to store, transform, and release chemicals and sediments, whic...
Cuffney, T.F.; Meador, M.R.; Porter, S.D.; Gurtz, M.E.
The condition of 25 stream sites in the Yakima River Basin, Washington, were assessed by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program. Multimetric condition indices were developed and used to rank sites on the basis of physical, chemical, and biological characteristics. These indices showed that sites in the Cascades and Eastern Cascades ecoregions were largely unimpaired. In contrast, all but two sites in the Columbia Basin ecoregion were impaired, some severely. Agriculture (nutrients and pesticides) was the primary factor associated with impairment and all impaired sites were characterized by multiple indicators of impairment. All indices of biological condition (fish, invertebrates, and algae) declined as agricultural intensity increased. The response exhibited by invertebrates and algae suggested a threshold response with conditions declining precipitously at relatively low levels of agricultural intensity and little response at moderate to high levels of agricultural intensity. This pattern of response suggests that the success of mitigation will vary depending upon where on the response curve the mitigation is undertaken. Because the form of the community condition response is critical to effective water-quality management, the National Water-Quality Assessment Program is conducting studies to examine the response of biota to gradients of land-use intensity and the relevance of these responses to water-quality management. These land-use gradient pilot studies will be conducted in several urban areas starting in 1999.
Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; Hamel, Perrine; Sharp, Richard; Kowal, Virgina; Wolny, Stacie; Sim, Sarah; Mueller, Carina
Corporations and other multinational institutions are increasingly looking to evaluate their innovation and procurement decisions over a range of environmental criteria, including impacts on ecosystem services according to the spatial configuration of activities on the landscape. We have developed a spatially explicit approach and modeled a hypothetical corporate supply chain decision representing contrasting patterns of land-use change in four regions of the globe. This illustrates the effect of introducing spatial considerations in the analysis of ecosystem services, specifically sediment retention. We explored a wide variety of contexts (Iowa, USA; Mato Grosso, Brazil; and Jiangxi and Heilongjiang in China) and these show that per-area representation of impacts based on the physical characterization of a region can be misleading. We found two- to five-fold differences in sediment export for the same amount of habitat conversion within regions characterized by similar physical traits. These differences were mainly determined by the distance between land use changes and streams. The influence of landscape configuration is so dramatic that it can override wide variation in erosion potential driven by physical factors like soil type, slope, and climate. To minimize damage to spatially-dependent ecosystem services like water purification, sustainable sourcing strategies should not assume a direct correlation between impact and area but rather allow for possible nonlinearity in impacts, especially in regions with little remaining habitat and highly variable hydrological connectivity.
Thomas, Mary Ann
Ground-water quality was assessed in the northeastern part of the Corn Belt, where tile-drained row crops are underlain by fractured glacial till. Data were collected from 30 shallow monitor wells and 18 co-located domestic wells as part of the U.S. Geological Survey?s National Water-Quality Assessment in the Lake Erie-Lake St. Clair Basin. Pesticides or pesticide degradates were detected in 41 percent of the monitor wells and 6 percent of the domestic wells. The pesticides detected closely correspond to those most heavily applied?herbicides used on corn and soybeans. Pesticide degradates were detected three times more frequently, and at higher concentrations, than were parent compounds. No pesticide concentration exceeded a USEPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), but MCL?s have not been established for 9 of the 11 compounds detected. Thirty-seven percent of monitor-well samples had nitrate concentrations indicative of human influences such as fertilizer, manure or septic systems. Nitrate was the only chemical constituent detected at a concentration greater than an MCL. The MCL was exceeded in 7 percent of samples from monitor wells which were too shallow to be used as a source of drinking water. Pesticide and nitrate concentrations in the study area are low relative to other agricultural areas of the Nation. Several authors have suggested that ground water in parts of the Upper Mid-west is minimally contaminated because it is protected by the surficial glacial till or tile drains. These ideas are examined in light of the relations between concentration, well depth, and ground-water age in the study area. Most of the shallow ground water is hydraulically connected to the land surface, based on the observations that 83 percent of waters from monitor wells were recharged after 1953, and 57 percent contained a pesticide or an elevated nitrate concentration. Fractures or sand-and-gravel stringers within the till are the probable pathways. In some areas, deeper parts of
Visser, A.; Kroes, J.; van Vliet, M. T.; Blenkinsop, S.; Broers, H.
The objective of this study was to assess the potential effects of climate change on the hydrology of the small partially-irrigated agricultural lowland catchment of the Keersop, in south of the Netherlands, as well as the transport of a pre-existing spatially extensive trace metal contamination. The area surrounding the Keersop has been contaminated with heavy metals by the atmospheric emissions of four zinc ore smelters. This heavy metal contamination, with Cd and Zn for example, has accumulated in the topsoil and leaches towards the surface water system, especially during periods with high groundwater levels and high discharge rates. Daily time-series of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration were derived from the results of eight regional climate model experiments under the SRES A2 emissions scenario. They each span 100 years and are representative for the periods 1961-1990 (“baseline climate”) and 2071-2100 (“future climate”). The time-series of future climate were characterized by lower precipitation (-1% to -12%) and higher air temperatures (between 2°C and 5°C), and as a result higher potential evapotranspiration, especially in summer. The time-series were used to drive the quasi-2D unsaturated-saturated zone model (SWAP) of the Keersop catchment (43 km2). The model consisted of an ensemble of 686 1D models, each of which represented a 250x250 m area within the catchment. Simulation results for the future climate scenarios show a shift in the water balance of the catchment. The decrease in annual rainfall is nearly compensated by an increase in irrigation in the catchment, if present day irrigation rules are followed. On the other hand, both evaporation and transpiration fluxes increase. This increase is compensated by a decrease in the drainage flux and groundwater recharge. As a result, groundwater levels decline and the annual discharge of the Keersop stream decreases under all future climate scenarios, by 26% to 46%. Because Cd and Zn
Allen, H.E., Jr.; Gray, J.R.
A study designed to quantify and evaluate changes in runoff and sediment transport attributable to construction activities during urban development of a watershed required identification of pre-construction hydrologic conditions. Data collected before construction on a 2.81 sq m (7.28 sq km) agricultural watershed (upper Spring Creek) near Rockford, IL, show that during a 2-year period ending June 30, 1981, 2,890 tons (2,620 Mg) of suspended sediment were transported from the watershed. Of the 2 ,890 tons (2,620 Mg), 2,690 tons (2,440 Mg) or 93.1 % were transported during a storm in a 46.6-hour period of June 13-14, 1981. Runoff from a 0.031 sq m (0.080 sq km) subbasin (Spring Creek tributary) transported 33.9 tons (30.9 Mg) of suspended sediment during a 3.2-hour storm period on June 13, 1981. Regression models relating storm suspended-sediment yields and peak-water discharge per square mile for upper Spring Creek and Spring Creek tributary have average standard errors of 57 and 24 %, respectively. Trace amounts of currently banned pesticides, including Aldrin and DDT, were detected in streambed material samples. Documented sediment yields, chemical quality, and relations between runoff and sediment discharge provide baseline information for future evaluation of hydrologic conditions in the watershed. (USGS)
An Environmental Assessment and initial Study for the interim use of a portion of the San Luis Drain for conveyance water through the Grassland Water District and adjacent Grassland areas was conducted. The project proposes the use of 18 miles of the San Luis Drain for the conveyance of agricultural drainage water for a period of five years and the elimination of agricultural drainage discharges from 76 miles of existing channels in and adjacent to the Grassland Water District. A report was prepared to (a) quantify the potential project effects on surface water quality within Salt and Mud Sloughs and the San Joaquin River using currently available data, and (b) to improve the understanding of existing water supply and drainage operations within the Grassland area. After submission of the original report it was brought to the attention of one of the coauthors that the database on selenium and boron concentrations in drainage water did not include the water quality data collected by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (CRWQCB). In addition, the US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) requested further examination of Grasslands hydrology to estimate the quantity of supplemental water that would be needed to restore the San Joaquin River to the same TDS and trace element concentrations prior to implementation of the project. This report addresses these issues.
McDowell, R W; Norris, M; Cox, N
The quality and health of surface waters can be impaired by sediment and sediment-bound phosphorus (P). The Waituna Lagoon catchment in southern New Zealand has undergone agricultural intensification that has been linked to increases in sediment and sediment-bound bioavailable P (BAP) in the lagoon. Time-integrated samplers trapped suspended sediment from the water column, and their geochemical signature was compared with likely sources (stream banks, stream beds, topsoil, and subsoil) in each of the lagoon's contributing streams and rivers. The proportion of BAP, but not necessarily total P, within trapped sediment was much greater in samples from the Moffat and Carran Creeks than from the Waituna Creek, probably due to the erosion of organic-rich soils that had little capacity to retain P compared with the more mineral soils of the Waituna Creek. Annually, most BAP and sediment came from bank erosion, and strategies such as fencing out stock should focus on minimizing this throughout the catchment. However, when considering losses in space and time relative to the impact on the Waituna Lagoon, strategies the Waituna Creek catchment should also minimize contributions from topsoil in winter-spring, whereas in the Carran and Moffat Creek catchments strategies need to decrease P inputs (e.g., effluent) to Organic soils likely to lose much BAP in summer-autumn when the impact on the Lagoon is quickest. This study highlighted the need to identify sources and timings of BAP and sediment loss before recommending mitigation practices, which without this information may be slow or not succeed. PMID:27380076
CONTENTS: Introduction to Water Quality Concepts. Natural Environmental Processes. Toxic Metals as Factors in Water Quality. Refractory Organic Compounds. Nutrients, Productivity, and Eutrophication. Microbes and Water Quality. Thermal Effects and Water Quality. Air Quality. Water Quality Interactions. Introduction to Water Quality Modeling. Water Quality Standards, and Management Approaches.
Treece, M.W., Jr.; Jaynes, M.L.
large increase of specific conductance in the tidal creek. Flashboard risers had no significant effect on concentrations of dissolved oxygen, suspended sediment, total ammonia plus organic nitrogen, or phosphorus. Maximum concentrations of ammonia nitrogen were smaller at both test sites after riser installation. In addition, concentrations of nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen exceeding 1.0 milligram per liter rarely occurred at the flashboard-riser test sites following installation of the risers. Median loadings of nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen and total nitrogen decreased at one riser test site following flashboard-riser installation. Tide gates and flashboard risers were associated with reductions in concentrations and export of nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen; however, these changes should be interpreted cautiously because reductions were not observed consistently at every site. The hydrology and baseline water-quality characteristics of the two study areas differ, making comparisons of the effectiveness of the two types of water-control structures difficult to interpret. The effects of water-control structures on the hydrology of the drainage canals are more meaningful than the changes in water quality. Tide gates and flashboard risers altered the hydrologic characteristics of the drainage canals and created an environment favorable for nutrient loss or transformation. Both structures retained agricultural drainage upstream, which increased potential storage for infiltration and reduced the potential for surface runoff, sediment, and nutrient transport, and higher peak outflow rates.
Neal, Colin; Neal, Margaret; Hill, Linda; Wickham, Heather
The water quality of the River Cherwell and a tributary of it, the Ray, are described in terms of point and diffuse sources of pollution, for this rural area of the upper Thames Basin. Point sources of pollution dominate at the critical ecological low flow periods of high biological activity. Although the surface geology is predominantly clay, base flow is partly supplied from springs in underlying carbonate-bearing strata, which influences the water quality particularly with regards to calcium and alkalinity. The hydrogeochemistry of the river is outlined and the overall importance of urban point sources even in what would normally be considered to be rural catchments is stressed in relation to the European Unions Water Framework Directive. Issues of phosphorus stripping at sewage treatment works are also considered: such stripping on the Cherwell has reduced phosphorus concentrations by about a factor of two, but this is insufficient for the needs of the Water Framework Directive. PMID:16253306
Conroy, E; Turner, J N; Rymszewicz, A; O'Sullivan, J J; Bruen, M; Lawler, D; Lally, H; Kelly-Quinn, M
Unrestricted cattle access to rivers and streams represent a potentially significant localised pressure on freshwater systems. However there is no consensus in the literature on the occurrence and extent of impact and limited research has examined the effects on aquatic biota in the humid temperate environment examined in the present study. Furthermore, this is one of the first times that research consider the potential for cattle access impacts in streams of varying water quality in Northern Europe. We investigated the effects of cattle access on macroinvertebrate communities and deposited fine sediment levels, in four rivers of high/good and four rivers of moderate water quality status which drain, low gradient, calcareous grassland catchments in Ireland. We assessed the temporal variability in macroinvertebrates communities across two seasons, spring and autumn. Site specific impacts were evident which appeared to be influenced by water quality status and season. All four high/good water status rivers revealed significant downstream changes in community structure and at least two univariate metrics (total richness and EPT richness together with taxon, E and EPT abundance). Two of the four moderate water status rivers showed significant changes in community structure, abundance and richness metrics and functional feeding groups driven in the main by downstream increases in collectors/gatherers, shredders and burrowing taxa. These two moderate water status rivers had high or prolonged livestock activity. In view of these findings, the potential for some of these sites to achieve at least high/good water quality status, as set out in the EU Water Framework Directive, may be compromised. The results presented highlight the need for additional research to further define the site specific factors and livestock management practices, under different discharge conditions, that increase the risk of impact on aquatic ecology due to these cattle-river interactions. PMID
Heimann, David C.
This report presents the results of a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, to analyze and compare hydrologic and water-quality characteristics of tallgrass prairie and agricultural basins located within the historical distribution of tallgrass prairie in Missouri and Kansas. Streamflow and water-quality data from two remnant, tallgrass prairie basins (East Drywood Creek at Prairie State Park, Missouri, and Kings Creek near Manhattan, Kansas) were compared to similar data from agricultural basins in Missouri and Kansas. Prairie streams, especially Kings Creek in eastern Kansas, received a higher percentage of base flow and a lower percentage of direct runoff than similar-sized agricultural streams in the region. A larger contribution of direct runoff from the agricultural streams made them much flashier than prairie streams. During 22 years of record, the Kings Creek base-flow component averaged 66 percent of total flow, but base flow was only 16 to 26 percent of flows at agricultural sites of various record periods. The large base-flow component likely is the result of greater infiltration of precipitation in prairie soils and the resulting greater contribution of groundwater to streamflow. The 1- and 3-day annual maximum flows were significantly greater at three agricultural sites than at Kings Creek. The effects of flashier agricultural streams on native aquatic biota are unknown, but may be an important factor in the sustainability of some native aquatic species. There were no significant differences in the distribution of dissolved-oxygen concentrations at prairie and agricultural sites, and some samples from most sites fell below the 5 milligrams per liter Missouri and Kansas standard for the protection of aquatic life. More than 10 percent of samples from the East Drywood Creek prairie stream were less than this standard. These data indicate low dissolved-oxygen concentrations during summer low
The effects of different agricultural land- management practices on sediment, nutrients, and selected pesticides in surface water, and on nutrients and pesticides in ground water were studied in four small basins in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The basins included two adjacent basins in row-crop fields, a mixed land-use basin, and a forested basin. One of the row-crop fields was farmed using conservation land-management practices, including strip cropping, contour plowing, field borders, and grassed waterways. The other field was farmed using standard land- management practices, including continuous cropping, straight-row plowing, and ungrassed waterways. The sediment yield for the standard land-management basin was 2.3 times that for the conservation land-management basin, 14.1 times that for the mixed land-use basin, and 19.5 times that for the forested basin. Nutrient concentra- tions in surface water from the row-crop and mixed land-use basins were higher than those in surface water for the forested basin. Nutrient concentra- tions in soil water and ground water beneath the row-crop basins were lower than those in surface- water runoff for these basins. The lowest nutrient concentrations measured in the row-crop basins generally were in soil-water samples collected just below the root zone (3-foot depth) and in ground water. No significant differences in pesticide concentrations were identified between the surface-water runoff from the standard land- management basin and that from the conservation land-management basin. Concentrations of the soil pesticides isopropalin and flumetralin were higher in the standard land-management basin than in the conservation land-management basin.
Dissolved organic carbon concentrations and compositions, and trihalomethane formation potentials in waters from agricultural peat soils, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California; implications for drinking-water quality
Fujii, Roger; Ranalli, Anthony J.; Aiken, George R.; Bergamaschi, Brian A.
Water exported from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta (Delta) is an important drinking-water source for more than 20 million people in California. At times, this water contains elevated concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and bromide, and exceeds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's maximum contaminant level for trihalomethanes of 0.100 milligrams per liter if chlorinated for drinking water. About 20 to 50 percent of the trihalomethane precursors to Delta waters originates from drainage water from peat soils on Delta islands. This report elucidates some of the factors and processes controlling and affecting the concentration and quality of dissolved organic carbon released from peat soils and relates the propensity of dissolved organic carbon to form trihalomethanes to its chemical composition.Soil water was sampled from near-surface, oxidized, well-decomposed peat soil (upper soil zone) and deeper, reduced, fibrous peat soil (lower soil zone) from one agricultural field in the west central Delta over 1 year. Concentrations of dissolved organic carbon in the upper soil zone were highly variable, with median concentrations ranging from 46.4 to 83.2 milligrams per liter. Concentrations of dissolved organic carbon in samples from the lower soil zone were much less variable and generally slightly higher than samples from the upper soil zone, with median concentrations ranging from 49.3 to 82.3 milligrams per liter. The dissolved organic carbon from the lower soil zone had significantly higher aromaticity (as measured by specific ultraviolet absorbance) and contained significantly greater amounts of aromatic humic substances (as measured by XAD resin fractionation and carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of XAD isolates) than the dissolved organic carbon from the upper soil zone. These results support the conclusion that more aromatic forms of dissolved organic carbon are produced under anaerobic conditions compared to aerobic conditions
Sundaray, Sanjay Kumar; Nayak, Binod Bihari; Bhatta, Dinabandhu
Hydrochemistry of surface water (pH, specific conductance, total dissolved solids, sulfate, chloride, nitrate, bicarbonate, hardness, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium) in the Mahanadi river estuarine system, India was used to assess the quality of water for agricultural purposes. The samples were studied for 31 different stations during six different seasons in the years 2001-2003. Chemical data were used for mathematical calculations (SAR, Na%, RSC, potential salinity, permeability index, Kelly's index, magnesium hazard, osmotic pressure and salt index) for better understanding the suitability river water quality for agricultural purposes. The river water is free from nitrate-nitrogen hazard and has much less osmotic pressure and RSC values. Further there is no complete precipitation of calcium and magnesium in the study area. The results revealed that waters of some polluted stations like Sambalpur down (D/s of Sambalpur town) and Kathjodi (Cuttack) down (D/s of Cuttack town) are unsuitable up to some extent, where as it is quite unsuitable in case of estuarine samples during the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. The results were verified by USSL and Wilcox diagrams, which show all the fresh water zone samples (low-medium salinity with low sodium) of the study area are in the 'Excellent to good' category and are suitable to irrigate all soils for semi-tolerant and tolerant as well as sensitive crops. PMID:18670901
Loheide, S. P.; Booth, E. G.; Kucharik, C. J.; Carpenter, S. R.; Gries, C.; Katt-Reinders, E.; Rissman, A. R.; Turner, M. G.
Dynamic hydrological processes play a critical role in the structure and functioning of agricultural watersheds undergoing urbanization. Developing a predictive understanding of the complex interaction between agricultural productivity, ecosystem health, water quality, urban development, and public policy requires an interdisciplinary effort that investigates the important biophysical and social processes of the system. Our research group has initiated such a framework that includes a coordinated program of integrated scenarios, model experiments to assess the effects of changing drivers on a broad set of ecosystem services, evaluations of governance and leverage points, outreach and public engagement, and information management. Our geographic focus is the Yahara River watershed in south-central Wisconsin, which is an exemplar of water-related issues in the Upper Midwest. This research addresses three specific questions. 1) How do different patterns of land use, land cover, land management, and water resources engineering practices affect the resilience and sensitivity of ecosystem services under a changing climate? 2) How can regional governance systems for water and land use be made more resilient and adaptive to meet diverse human needs? 3) In what ways are regional human-environment systems resilient and in what ways are they vulnerable to potential changes in climate and water resources? A comprehensive program of model experiments and biophysical measurements will be utilized to evaluate changes in five freshwater ecosystem services (flood regulation, groundwater recharge, surface water quality, groundwater quality, and lake recreation) and five related ecosystem services (food crop yields, bioenergy crop yields, carbon storage in soil, albedo, and terrestrial recreation). Novel additions to existing biophysical models will allow us to simulate all components of the hydrological cycle as well as agricultural productivity, nitrogen and phosphorus transport
Corsi, S.R.; Klaper, R.D.; Weber, D.N.; Bannerman, R.T.
Many streams in the U.S. are "impaired" due to anthropogenic influence. For watershed managers to achieve practical understanding of these impairments, a multitude of factors must be considered, including point and nonpoint-source influence on water quality. A spawning assay was developed in this study to evaluate water- and sediment-quality effects that influenced Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow) egg production over a gradient of urban and agricultural land use in 27 small watersheds in Eastern Wisconsin. Six pairs of reproducing fathead minnows were contained in separate mesh cartridges within one larger flow-through chamber. Water- and sediment quality were sampled for an array of parameters. Egg production was monitored for each pair providing an assessment of spawning success throughout the 21-day test periods. Incidences of low dissolved oxygen (DO) in many of these streams negatively impacted spawning success. Nine of 27 streams experienced DO less than 3.1. mg/L and 15 streams experienced DO less than 4.8. mg/L. Low DO was observed in urban and agricultural watersheds, but the upper threshold of minimum DO decreased with increasing urban development. An increase in specific conductance was related to a decrease in spawning success. In previous studies for streams in this region, specific conductance had a linear relation with chloride, suggesting the possibility that chloride could be a factor in egg production. Egg production was lower at sites with substantial urban development, but sites with low egg production were not limited to urban sites. Degradation of water- and sediment-quality parameters with increasing urban development is indicated for multiple parameters while patterns were not detected for others. Results from this study indicate that DO must be a high priority watershed management consideration for this region, specific conductance should be investigated further to determine the mechanism of the relation with egg production, and water
Julian, J.; Owsley, B.; de Beurs, K.; Hughes, A.
Rivers are the funnels of landscapes, with the quality of water at the catchment outlet reflecting interactions among geomorphic processes, vegetation characteristics, weather patterns, and anthropogenic land uses. The impacts of changing climate and land cover on water quality are not straightforward; but instead, are set by the interaction of numerous landscape components at multiple spatiotemporal scales. In agricultural-dominated subtropical landscapes such as the Hoteo River Catchment in northern North Island of New Zealand, the land surface can be very dynamic, responding quickly to storms, drought, forest clearings, and grazing practices. In order to capture these short-term fluctuations, we created an 8-day land disturbance index for the catchment using MODIS Nadir BRDF-adjusted reflectance (NBAR) data (500 meter resolution) from 2000 to 2013. We also fused this time-series with Landsat TM/ETM surface reflectance data (30 meter resolution) to more precisely capture the location and extent of these land disturbances. This high-resolution land disturbance time-series was then compared to daily rainfall, daily river discharge, and monthly water samples to assess the effects of changing weather and land cover on a suite of water quality variables including water clarity, turbidity, ammonium (NH4), nitrate (NO3), total nitrogen (TN), dissolved reactive phosphate (DRP), total phosphorus (TP), and fecal coliforms. Forest clearings in the early part of our study period created the most intense land disturbances, which led to elevated turbidity and DRP during subsequent storms. Pasture areas during drought were also characterized by high disturbance indices, particularly in 2013 - the worst drought on record for northern New Zealand. Seasonal effects on land disturbance and water quality were also detected, especially for water clarity and turbidity. From 2011 to 2013, river discharge and turbidity from three sub-catchments were measured at 5-minute intervals to
Aubert, A.; Gascuel-odoux, C.; Merot, P.; Grimaldi, C.; Gruau, G.; Ruiz, L.
Climatic conditions impact biotransformation and transfer of solutes. Therefore, they modify solute emissions in streams. Studying these modifications requires long term and detailed monitoring of both internal processes and river loads, which are rarely combined. The Kervidy-Naizin catchment, implemented in 1993, is part of the French network of catchment for environmental research (SOERE RBV, focused on the Critical Zone). It is an intensive agricultural catchment located in a temperate climate in Western France (Brittany) (Molenat et al., 2008; Morel et al., 2009). It presents shallow aquifers due to impervious bedrock. Both hydrology and water chemistry are monitored with a daily time step since 2000-01, as well as possible explanatory data (land use, meteorology, etc.). Concentrations in major anions in this catchment are extremely high, which make people call it a "saturated" catchment. We identified annual patterns for chloride, sulphate, dissolved organic and inorganic carbon and nitrate concentration variations. First, we considered the complete set of concentration data as function of the time. From that, we foresaw 3 cyclic temporal patterns. Then, from representing the concentrations as function of meteorological parameters, intra-annual hysteretic variations and their inter-annual variations were clearly identified. Our driving question is to know if and how climatic conditions are responsible for variations of the patterns in and between years. In winter, i.e. rainy and cold period, rainfall is closely linked to discharge because of a direct recharge to the shallow groundwater. Reversely, in transition periods (spring and fall) and hot periods, both rainfall and temperature influences discharge in relation to their range of variations. Moreover, biological processes, driven by temperature and wetness, also act during these periods. On the whole, we can emphasize the specificity of water chemistry patterns for each element. Noticeable differences
Chen, Jiabo; Lu, Jun
Understanding the primary effects of anthropogenic activities and natural factors on river water quality is important in the study and efficient management of water resources. In this study, analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Principal component analysis (PCA), Pearson correlations, Multiple regression analysis (MRA) and Redundancy analysis (RDA) were applied as an integrated approach in a GIS environment to explore the temporal and spatial variations in river water quality and to estimate the influence of watershed land use, topography and socio-economic factors on river water quality based on 3 years of water quality monitoring data for the Cao-E River system. The statistical analysis revealed that TN, pH and temperature were generally higher in the rainy season, whereas BOD5, DO and turbidity were higher in the dry season. Spatial variations in river water quality were related to numerous anthropogenic and natural factors. Urban land use was found to be the most important explanatory variable for BOD5, CODMn, TN, DN, NH4+-N, NO3−-N, DO, pH and TP. The animal husbandry output per capita was an important predictor of TP and turbidity, and the gross domestic product per capita largely determined spatial variations in EC. The remaining unexplained variance was related to other factors, such as topography. Our results suggested that pollution control of animal waste discharge in rural settlements, agricultural runoff in cropland, industrial production pollution and domestic pollution in urban and industrial areas were important within the Cao-E River basin. Moreover, the percentage of the total overall river water quality variance explained by an individual variable and/or all environmental variables (according to RDA) can assist in quantitatively identifying the primary factors that control pollution at the watershed scale. PMID:25090375
Land, Larry F.; Brown, Mariann F.
Water and bed-sediment samples from streams draining an urban and an agricultural area in the Trinity River Basin, Texas, were analyzed. The samples were collected during March 1993?September 1995 by the Trinity River Basin study-unit team of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program. A comparison of pesticide data for water samples from seven streams in the Dallas-Fort Worth urban area with five streams in an agricultural area in the west-central part of the Trinity River Basin showed detections of 24 herbicides in urban-area streams and 19 herbicides in agricultural-area streams and 10 insecticides in each area. Atrazine, a herbicide, was detected in all samples from both areas. Diazinon, an insecticide, was detected in all samples collected in urban-area streams and in about 60 percent of the samples collected in agricultural-area streams. Concentrations of alachlor, atrazine, fluometuron, metolachlor, and pendimethalin (herbicides) were always greater in agricultural-area streams, and prometon and simazine concentrations were always greater in urban-area streams. Atrazine was the only herbicide with concentrations greater than a health advisory limit of 3 micrograms per liter. Concentrations were greater in about 20 percent of the samples; all were in the agricultural area and occurred during spring and during higher streamflow. Diazinon was the only insecticide with concentrations greater than the health advisory of 0.6 microgram per liter. Concentrations were greater in about 15 percent of the samples from the urban area. All exceedances were during spring through early fall and during all ranges of streamflow. In the agricultural area, atrazine and metolachlor concentrations peaked during spring and early summer and increased with increasing streamflow; in the urban area, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, and diazinon peaked in April and remained relatively high during the summer and increased with increasing streamflow. A comparison of pesticide data for
Aubert, Alice; Kirchner, James; Faucheux, Mikael; Merot, Philippe; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal
The choice of sampling frequency is a key issue in the design and operation of environmental observatories. The choice of sampling frequency creates a spectral window (or temporal filter) that highlights some timescales and processes, and de-emphasizes others (1). New online measurement technologies can monitor surface water quality almost continuously, allowing the creation of very rich time series. The question of how best to analyze such detailed temporal datasets is an important issue in environmental monitoring. In the present work, we studied water quality data from the AgrHys long-term hydrological observatory (located at Kervidy-Naizin, Western France) sampled at daily and 20-minute time scales. Manual sampling has provided 12 years of daily measurements of nitrate, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), chloride and sulfate (2), and 3 years of daily measurements of about 30 other solutes. In addition, a UV-spectrometry probe (Spectrolyser) provides one year of 20-minute measurements for nitrate and DOC. Spectral analysis of the daily water quality time series reveals that our intensively farmed catchment exhibits universal 1/f scaling (power spectrum slope of -1) for a large number of solutes, confirming and extending the earlier discovery of universal 1/f scaling in the relatively pristine Plynlimon catchment (3). 1/f time series confound conventional methods for assessing the statistical significance of trends. Indeed, conventional methods assume that there is a clear separation of scales between the signal (the trend line) and the noise (the scatter around the line). This is not true for 1/f noise, since it overestimates the occurrence of significant trends. Our results raise the possibility that 1/f scaling is widespread in water quality time series, thus posing fundamental challenges to water quality trend analysis. Power spectra of the 20-minute nitrate and DOC time series show 1/f scaling at frequencies below 1/day, consistent with the longer-term daily
Breen, Kevin J.
Assessments to determine whether agricultural pesticides are present in ground water are performed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under the aquifer monitoring provisions of the State Pesticides and Ground Water Strategy. Pennsylvania?s Department of Agriculture conducts the monitoring and collects samples; the Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP) Laboratory analyzes the samples to measure pesticide concentration. To evaluate the quality of the measurements of pesticide concentration for a groundwater assessment, a quality-assurance design was developed and applied to a selected assessment area in Pennsylvania. This report describes the quality-assurance design, describes how and where the design was applied, describes procedures used to collect and analyze samples and to evaluate the results, and summarizes the quality assurance results along with the assessment results. The design was applied in an agricultural area of the Delaware River Basin in Berks, Lebanon, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties to evaluate the bias and variability in laboratory results for pesticides. The design?with random spatial and temporal components?included four data-quality objectives for bias and variability. The spatial design was primary and represented an area comprising 30 sampling cells. A quality-assurance sampling frequency of 20 percent of cells was selected to ensure a sample number of five or more for analysis. Quality-control samples included blanks, spikes, and replicates of laboratory water and spikes, replicates, and 2-lab splits of groundwater. Two analytical laboratories, the PaDEP Laboratory and a U.S. Geological Survey Laboratory, were part of the design. Bias and variability were evaluated by use of data collected from October 1997 through January 1998 for alachlor, atrazine, cyanazine, metolachlor, simazine, pendimethalin, metribuzin, and chlorpyrifos. Results of analyses of field blanks indicate that collection, processing, transport, and laboratory
Liu, Mei; Lu, Jun
Water quality forecasting in agricultural drainage river basins is difficult because of the complicated nonpoint source (NPS) pollution transport processes and river self-purification processes involved in highly nonlinear problems. Artificial neural network (ANN) and support vector model (SVM) were developed to predict total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) concentrations for any location of the river polluted by agricultural NPS pollution in eastern China. River flow, water temperature, flow travel time, rainfall, dissolved oxygen, and upstream TN or TP concentrations were selected as initial inputs of the two models. Monthly, bimonthly, and trimonthly datasets were selected to train the two models, respectively, and the same monthly dataset which had not been used for training was chosen to test the models in order to compare their generalization performance. Trial and error analysis and genetic algorisms (GA) were employed to optimize the parameters of ANN and SVM models, respectively. The results indicated that the proposed SVM models performed better generalization ability due to avoiding the occurrence of overtraining and optimizing fewer parameters based on structural risk minimization (SRM) principle. Furthermore, both TN and TP SVM models trained by trimonthly datasets achieved greater forecasting accuracy than corresponding ANN models. Thus, SVM models will be a powerful alternative method because it is an efficient and economic tool to accurately predict water quality with low risk. The sensitivity analyses of two models indicated that decreasing upstream input concentrations during the dry season and NPS emission along the reach during average or flood season should be an effective way to improve Changle River water quality. If the necessary water quality and hydrology data and even trimonthly data are available, the SVM methodology developed here can easily be applied to other NPS-polluted rivers. PMID:24894753
A hydrologic investigation to define the water quality of Corydon Reservoir before implementation of agricultural best-management practices in the basin was conducted from September 1990 to September 1991. Runoff from the 1,680-acre basin is the primary source of water to the 58-acre reservoir. Current water quality of the reservoir is affected substantially by runoff from the agricultural basin. Total-solids, total-nitrogen, and total-phosphorus concentrations were largest during April through July 1991, the months of greatest rainfall. Herbicide concentrations increased substantially in June after application. The concentration of the sum of all triazines was greater than 50 micrograms per liter in one sample, with the predominant herbicides being atrazine and cyanazine. Atrazine concentrations, estimated from immunoassay, were greater than 8.0 micrograms per liter from June through September 1991 as a result of reservoir storage. Atrazine concentrations commonly were less at the surface than at depth. Algal populations remained constant even though nutrient concen- trations increased during the summer months. This may be due to the presence of suspended sediment that reduces light penetration and herbicides that inhibit photosynthesis.
Whiles, Matt R.; Brock, Brent L.; Franzen, Annette C.; Dinsmore, Steven C., II
We used invertebrate bioassessment, habitat analysis, geographic information system analysis of land use, and water chemistry monitoring to evaluate tributaries of a degraded northeast Nebraska, USA, reservoir. Bimonthly invertebrate collections and monthly water chemistry samples were collected for two years on six stream reaches to identify sources contributing to reservoir degradation and test suitability of standard rapid bioassessment methods in this region. A composite biotic index composed of seven commonly used metrics was effective for distinguishing between differentially impacted sites and responded to a variety of disturbances. Individual metrics varied greatly in precision and ability to discriminate between relatively impacted and unimpacted stream reaches. A modified Hilsenhoff index showed the highest precision (reference site CV = 0.08) but was least effective at discriminating among sites. Percent dominance and the EPT (number of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera taxa) metrics were most effective at discriminating between sites and exhibited intermediate precision. A trend of higher biotic integrity during summer was evident, indicating seasonal corrections should differ from other regions. Poor correlations were evident between water chemistry variables and bioassessment results. However, land-use factors, particularly within 18-m riparian zones, were correlated with bioassessment scores. For example, there was a strong negative correlation between percentage of rangeland in 18-m riparian zones and percentage of dominance in streams (r 2 = 0.90, P < 0.01). Results demonstrate that standard rapid bioassessment methods, with some modifications, are effective for use in this agricultural region of the Great Plains and that riparian land use may be the best predictor of stream biotic integrity.
... Commodity Credit Corporation Agricultural Water Enhancement Program AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation and... Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) by amending section 1240I of the Food ] Security Act of 1985. The... technical assistance to agricultural producers to implement agricultural water enhancement activities...
Agriculture is a major land use in the coastal prairie area located in the southern part of the Trinity River Basin. Crops grown in the area include rice, sorghum, and soybeans. Pesticide- use estimates for the area show that compounds with the highest use are the herbicides: molinate, propanil, thiobencarb, metolachlor, acifluorfen, bentazon, and atrazine and the insecticides: carbaryl and methyl parathion. More than 20 pesticide samples collected from each of three streams in the coastal prairie resulted in detections of 29 different pesticide compounds. The most frequently detected compounds were the herbicides: atrazine, metolachlor, and molinate, which were detected in more than 75 percent of the samples. Herbicides were detected more frequently than insecticides. Maximum concentrations of atrazine, metolachlor, and molinate occurred in the spring and were 4, 1.9, and 200 micrograms per liter (?g/L), respectively. Almost all concentrations of atrazine and metolachlor were below drinking water standards; no standard is available for molinate. Concentrations and estimated loads and percent of applied compound lost to the streams were generally higher in the watersheds where more of the pesticides were applied to crops.
da Rocha, Monyque Palagano; Dourado, Priscila Leocadia Rosa; de Souza Rodrigues, Mayara; Raposo, Jorge Luiz; Grisolia, Alexeia Barufatti; de Oliveira, Kelly Mari Pires
Water quality monitoring is used to determine the impact of human activities on the environment. We evaluated water quality in the Água Boa stream, located within the municipality of Dourados, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, by analyzing physico-chemical, chemical, and microbiological parameters, as well as chlorophyll concentrations. Five sets of water samples were collected between December 2012 and November 2013 from three locations within the stream. The results showed the presence of Escherichia coli and antibiotic-resistant Pseudomonas spp. strains and high concentrations of organic matter (total dissolved solids), inorganic species (Mg, Ca, and Fe), and agrochemical residues (thiamethoxam). The main stream water contaminants are derived from urban, industrial, and agricultural activities within the watershed. Given the presence of contaminants, it is important that such findings are disseminated in order to highlight the risks that contact with this water may pose to human health. To preserve the environment and improve site conditions, people would need to participate by demanding that normative national and international standards be respected and that the situation be supervised by the competent governmental agencies; this would make it possible to reverse or minimize contamination problems within the Água Boa stream. PMID:26088756
... 7 Agriculture 6 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Water quality plan. 634.23 Section 634.23 Agriculture... AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING RURAL CLEAN WATER PROGRAM Participant RCWP Contracts § 634.23 Water quality plan. (a) The participant's water quality plan, developed with technical assistance by the NRCS or...
... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Water quality plan. 634.23 Section 634.23 Agriculture... AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING RURAL CLEAN WATER PROGRAM Participant RCWP Contracts § 634.23 Water quality plan. (a) The participant's water quality plan, developed with technical assistance by the NRCS or...
... 7 Agriculture 6 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Water quality plan. 634.23 Section 634.23 Agriculture... AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING RURAL CLEAN WATER PROGRAM Participant RCWP Contracts § 634.23 Water quality plan. (a) The participant's water quality plan, developed with technical assistance by the NRCS or...
Ockerman, Darwin J.; Petri, Brian L.
During 1996?98, rainfall and runoff were monitored on a 49,680-acre agricultural watershed in Kleberg and Nueces Counties in South Texas. Nineteen rainfall samples were analyzed for selected nutrients, and runoff samples from 29 storms were analyzed for major ions, nutrients, and pesticides. Loads of nutrients in rainfall and loads of nutrients and pesticides in runoff were computed. For a 40,540-acre part of the watershed (lower study area), constituent loads entering the watershed in rainfall, in runoff from the upper study area, and from agricultural chemical applications to the lower study area were compared with runoff loads exiting the lower study area. Total rainfall for 1996?98 averaged 25.86 inches per year, which is less than the long-term annual average rainfall of 29.80 inches for the area. Rainfall and runoff during 1996?98 were typical of historical patterns, with periods of below average rainfall and runoff interspersed with extreme events. Five individual storms accounted for about 38 percent of the total rainfall and 94 percent of the total runoff. During the 3-year study, the total nitrogen runoff yield from the lower study area was 1.3 pounds per acre per year, compared with 49 pounds per acre per year applied as fertilizer and 3.1 pounds per acre per year from rainfall. While almost all of the fertilizer and rainfall nitrogen was ammonia and nitrate, most of the nitrogen in runoff was particulate organic nitrogen, associated with crop residue. Total nitrogen exiting the lower study area in surface-water runoff was about 2.5 percent of the nitrogen inputs (fertilizer and rainfall nitrogen). Annual deposition of total nitrogen entering the lower study area in rainfall exceeded net yields of total nitrogen exiting the watershed in runoff because most of the rainfall does not contribute to runoff. During the study, the total phosphorus runoff yield from the lower study area was 0.48 pound per acre per year compared with 4.2 pounds per acre per year
Zeng, Xibai; Yang, Zhengli
This paper analyzed the present status of China agricultural water and soil environment. It was indicated that the agricultural water environment in this country was more serious, with the affected area being approximately 20% of the total farmland, and 5% of it being severely affected. More attention should be paid to the pollution of agricultural chemicals in soil environment. The impacts of industrial wastes, urban sewage and garbage, agricultural chemicals, and soil erosion on agro-environment were discussed, with the impact degree of these factors analyzed. The major problems in China agricultural environment melioration were presented, related researches and major countermeasures in this country and developed countries were reviewed, and relevant measures and suggestions on improving the agricultural environment quality of China were put forward. PMID:16689249
The San Joaquin Valley of California covers 4 million hectares of farmland and produces $25 billion of agricultural products annually, but its average annual rainfall ranges from only 130 mm in the south to 330 mm in the north and nearly all occur in the winter. On the east side of the valley, irrig...
Water quality of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint and Ocmulgee river basins related to flooding from Tropical Storm Alberto; pesticides in urban and agricultural watersheds, and nitrate and pesticides in ground water, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida
Hippe, D.J.; Wangsness, D.J.; Frick, E.A.; Garrett, J.W.
This report presents preliminary water-quality information from three studies that are part of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River basin and the adjacent Ocmulgee River basin. During the period July 3-7, 1994, heavy rainfall from tropical storm Alberto caused record flooding on the Ocmulgee and Flint Rivers and several of their tributaries. Much of the nitrogen load transported during the flooding was as organic nitrogen generally derived from organic detritus, rather than nitrate derived from other sources, such as fertilizer. More than half the mean annual loads of total phosphorus and organic nitrogen were trans- ported in the Flint and Ocmulgee Rivers during the flood. Fourteen herbicides, five insecticides, and one fungicide were detected in floodwaters of the Ocmulgee, Flint, and Apalachicola Rivers. In a second study, water samples were collected at nearly weekly intervals from March 1993 through April 1994 from one urban and two agricultural watersheds in the ACF River basin, and analyzed for 84 commonly used pesticides. More pesticides were detected and at generally higher concentrations in water from the urban watershed than the agricultural water- sheds, and a greater number of pesticides were persistent throughout much of the year in the urban watershed. Simazine exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking-water standards in one of 57 samples from the urban watershed. In a third study, 38 wells were installed in surficial aquifers adjacent to and downgradient of farm fields within agricultural areas in the southern ACF River basin. Even though regional aquifers are generally used for irrigation and domestic- and public-water supplies, degradation of water quality in the surficial aquifers serves as an early warning of potential contamination of regional aquifers. Nitrate concentrations were less than 3 mg/L as N (indicating minimal effect of human activities) in water
The booklet presents the results of a project conducted by EPA's Office of Ground-Water Protection to evaluate the potential impacts of various agronomic, irrigation, and pesticide application practices on ground water. The report provides State and local water quality and agricultural officials with technical information to help in the development of programs to protect ground water from pesticide contamination. The report explains the principles involved in reducing the risk of pesticide contamination and describes what is known about the impact of various agricultural practices on pesticide leaching. It is hoped that the information will be helpful to water-quality officials in developing and implementing ground-water protection programs.
Agricultural air quality concerns have broadened recently because of the increasing urban-rural interface; greater understanding of the impact of air quality on health, visibility and safety, and coincident regulation increases; and increasing size and density of some farming operations. The USDA h...
Ligmann-Zielinska, A.; Kramer, D. B.; Spence Cheruvelil, K.; Soranno, P.
Socio-ecological systems are dynamic and nonlinear. To account for this complexity, we employ agent-based models (ABMs) to study macro-scale phenomena resulting from micro-scale interactions among system components. Because ABMs typically have many parameters, it is challenging to identify which parameters contribute to the emerging macro-scale patterns. In this paper, we address the following question: What is the extent of participation in agricultural land conservation programs given heterogeneous landscape, economic, social, and individual decision making criteria in complex lakesheds? To answer this question, we:  built an ABM for our model system;  simulated land use change resulting from agent decision making,  estimated the uncertainty of the model output, decomposed it and apportioned it to each of the parameters in the model. Our model system is a freshwater socio-ecological system - that of farmland and lake water quality within a region containing a large number of lakes and high proportions of agricultural lands. Our study focuses on examining how agricultural land conversion from active to fallow reduces freshwater nutrient loading and improves water quality. Consequently, our ABM is composed of farmer agents who make decisions related to participation in a government-sponsored Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) managed by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). We also include an FSA agent, who selects enrollment offers made by farmers and announces the signup results leading to land use change. The model is executed in a Monte Carlo simulation framework to generate a distribution of maps of fallow lands that are used for calculating nutrient loading to lakes. What follows is a variance-based sensitivity analysis of the results. We compute sensitivity indices for individual parameters and their combinations, allowing for identification of the most influential as well as the insignificant inputs. In the case study, we observe that farmland
Hodgson, Ted; Andersen, Lyle; Robison-Cox, Jim; Jones, Clain
Water quality experiments, especially the use of macroinvertebrates as indicators of water quality, offer an ideal context for connecting statistics and science. In the STAR program for secondary students and teachers, water quality experiments were also used as a context for teaching statistics. In this article, we trace one activity that uses…
Blazkova, Sarka D.; Kulasova, Alena
The COST project EU EURO-AGRIWAT focuses apart from other problems on the assessment of water footprint (WF). WF is defined as the quantity of water used to produce some goods or a service. In particular, the WF of an agricultural product is the volume of water used during the crop growing period. It has three components: the green water which is rain or soil moisture transpired by a crop, the blue water which is the amount of irrigation water transpired and the grey water which is the volume of water required to dilute pollutants and to restore the quality standards of the water body. We have been observing three different agricultural catchments. The first of them is Smrzovka Brook, located in the protected nature area in the south part of the Jizerske Mountains. An ecological farming has been carried out there. The second agricultural catchment area is the Kralovsky Creek, which lies in the foothills of the Krkonose Mountains and is a part of an agricultural cooperative. The last agricultural catchment is the Klejnarka stream, located on the outskirts of the fertile Elbe lowlands near Caslav. Catchments Kralovsky Brook and Klejnarka carry out usual agricultural activities. On all three catchments, however, recreational cottages or houses not connected to the sewerage system and/or with inefficient septic tanks occur. The contribution shows our approach to trying to quantify the real grey water from agriculture, i.e. the grey water caused by nutrients not utilised by the crops.
Richards, R Peter; Baker, David B
Trends in water quality in four northwest Ohio rivers over the period 1975-1995 were identified using datasets of daily concentrations containing 4500 to 6800 observations per river during the study period. Concentrations were log-transformed prior to analysis, and adjusted for flow using a locally weighted scatterplot smoother (LOWESS) fit between log(concentration) and log(flow). Seasonality was modeled using one- and two-cycle sinusoidal oscillations and monthly additive constants. Substantial decreases in total and soluble reactive phosphorus were documented at all stations. Smaller but highly significant decreases in total Kjeldahl nitrogen were documented at all stations, and significant decreases in total suspended solids were documented at three of the four stations. Nitrate did not show significant trends at the two stations draining major watersheds, and showed significant trends in opposite directions at the two stations on smaller watersheds. Comparisons using nonparametric, nonlinear trend fits (LOWESS) suggest that changes in fertilizer and manure application rates are the most important cause of trends in phosphorus and total Kjeldahl nitrogen; point sources are insufficient to account for the phosphorus trends. The conflicting trends for nitrate are enigmatic, but may reflect diverging land use in the two smaller watersheds. PMID:11837449
... AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING RURAL CLEAN WATER PROGRAM Participant RCWP Contracts § 634.23 Water quality plan. (a) The participant's water quality plan, developed with technical assistance by the NRCS or its... 7 Agriculture 6 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Water quality plan. 634.23 Section 634.23...
... AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING RURAL CLEAN WATER PROGRAM Participant RCWP Contracts § 634.23 Water quality plan. (a) The participant's water quality plan, developed with technical assistance by the NRCS or its... 7 Agriculture 6 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Water quality plan. 634.23 Section 634.23...
Dąbrowska, Jolanta; Kaczmarek, Halina; Markowska, Joanna; Tyszkowski, Sebastian; Kempa, Olgierd; Gałęza, Marta; Kucharczak-Moryl, Ewa; Moryl, Andrzej
Shore zones are transition areas (ecotones) between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Their function in the environment is crucial because they serve as buffer zones that capture pollutants and slow down erosion of reservoir and watercourse banks provided that they are managed properly. Research on a shore zone was conducted at the Mściwojów retention reservoir with an innovative water self-purification system. After several years of its operation, an increased phosphate concentration in the main part of the reservoir was reported. The mapping of the terrain's surface and modeling of hydrological processes in the direct catchment area of the said reservoir were done using the digital elevation model (DEM). The DEM was created from LiDAR data obtained in 2012 by airborne laser scanning. Analyses of the surface runoff led to identification of surface runoff transport pathways, along which the eroded material from cultivated fields is discharged directly to the reservoir. Surface runoff transport pathways gather the eroded material from a maximum area of 45,000 m(2) in the western part of the direct catchment and 40,000 m(2) in the eastern part of it. Due to the reservoir management negligence, the riparian zone designed for the Mściwojów Reservoir no longer exists. The percentage of the natural shore that undergoes erosion processes is over 54. The said processes and fluctuations of the water level in the reservoir, as well as degradation of the shore zone caused by human activity, bring about limited plant development in the littoral zone, which in turn lowers the reservoir's resistance to degradation. PMID:27418074
Anderson, H.W., Jr.
Four of eight wells sampled for herbicides in west-central Minnesota had detectable concentrations of the triazine herbicide atrazine that ranged from 0.2 to 0.6 micrograms per liter. These concentrations were well below the water-quality guidelines published by the Canadian Inland Waters Directorate, Water Quality Branch, which specify 100 micrograms per liter as the maximum permissible concentration for the group of triazine herbicides in a raw drinking-water supply.
Water quality standards and criteria are the foundation for a wide range of programs under the Clean Water Act. Specifically, under section 304(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act it requires EPA to develop criteria for water quality that accurately re...
Yin, Yunxing; Jiang, Sanyuan; Pers, Charlotta; Yang, Xiaoying; Liu, Qun; Yuan, Jin; Yao, Mingxing; He, Yi; Luo, Xingzhang; Zheng, Zheng
Many water quality models have been successfully used worldwide to predict nutrient losses from anthropogenically impacted catchments, but hydrological and nutrient simulations with limited data are difficult considering the transfer of model parameters and complication of model calibration and validation. This study aims: (i) to assess the performance capabilities of a new and relatively more advantageous model, namely, Hydrological Predictions for the Environment (HYPE), that simulates stream flow and nutrient load in agricultural areas by using a multi-site and multi-objective parameter calibration method and (ii) to investigate the temporal and spatial variations of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorous (TP) concentrations and loads with crop rotation by using the model for the first time. A parameter estimation tool (PEST) was used to calibrate parameters. Results show that the parameters related to the effective soil porosity were highly sensitive to hydrological modeling. N balance was largely controlled by soil denitrification processes. P balance was influenced by the sedimentation rate and production/decay of P in rivers and lakes. The model reproduced the temporal and spatial variations of discharge and TN/TP relatively well in both calibration (2006-2008) and validation (2009-2010) periods. Among the obtained data, the lowest Nash-Suttclife efficiency of discharge, daily TN load, and daily TP load were 0.74, 0.51, and 0.54, respectively. The seasonal variations of daily TN concentrations in the entire simulation period were insufficient, indicated that crop rotation changed the timing and amount of N output. Monthly TN and TP simulation yields revealed that nutrient outputs were abundant in summer in terms of the corresponding discharge. The area-weighted TN and TP load annual yields in five years showed that nutrient loads were extremely high along Hong and Ru rivers, especially in agricultural lands. PMID:26999184
Yin, Yunxing; Jiang, Sanyuan; Pers, Charlotta; Yang, Xiaoying; Liu, Qun; Yuan, Jin; Yao, Mingxing; He, Yi; Luo, Xingzhang; Zheng, Zheng
Many water quality models have been successfully used worldwide to predict nutrient losses from anthropogenically impacted catchments, but hydrological and nutrient simulations with limited data are difficult considering the transfer of model parameters and complication of model calibration and validation. This study aims: (i) to assess the performance capabilities of a new and relatively more advantageous model, namely, Hydrological Predictions for the Environment (HYPE), that simulates stream flow and nutrient load in agricultural areas by using a multi-site and multi-objective parameter calibration method and (ii) to investigate the temporal and spatial variations of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorous (TP) concentrations and loads with crop rotation by using the model for the first time. A parameter estimation tool (PEST) was used to calibrate parameters. Results show that the parameters related to the effective soil porosity were highly sensitive to hydrological modeling. N balance was largely controlled by soil denitrification processes. P balance was influenced by the sedimentation rate and production/decay of P in rivers and lakes. The model reproduced the temporal and spatial variations of discharge and TN/TP relatively well in both calibration (2006–2008) and validation (2009–2010) periods. Among the obtained data, the lowest Nash-Suttclife efficiency of discharge, daily TN load, and daily TP load were 0.74, 0.51, and 0.54, respectively. The seasonal variations of daily TN concentrations in the entire simulation period were insufficient, indicated that crop rotation changed the timing and amount of N output. Monthly TN and TP simulation yields revealed that nutrient outputs were abundant in summer in terms of the corresponding discharge. The area-weighted TN and TP load annual yields in five years showed that nutrient loads were extremely high along Hong and Ru rivers, especially in agricultural lands. PMID:26999184
Jones, C. S.; Kim, S. W.; Davis, C. A.
Agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern U.S. are major contributors of nutrients to the Mississippi River Basin and the Gulf of Mexico. Many states within the Upper Mississippi River Basin, including Iowa, are developing nutrient reduction strategies to reduce non-point and point source loads of nitrogen and phosphorous in an effort to reverse degradation of streams and lakes. Quantifying nutrient loads in Iowa and assessing loads transported within Iowa rivers are important components of Iowa's strategy. Nutrient loads estimated with data collected using traditional methods of grab sampling are expensive and have met with limited usefulness to the agricultural community when assessing the effectiveness of implemented conservation practices. New sensor technology is allowing for real-time measurement of nutrient loads in many Iowa rivers. IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering has deployed 22 nitrate-nitrogen sensors in several Iowa rivers to provide accurate measure of nutrient loads. Combined with 17 sensors operated by the USGS, the sensor network captures nutrient transport and loading patterns in rivers across the state. A new Iowa Water Quality Information System (IWQIS) is being developed to display and share the continuous, real-time data. The data reported here will compare and contrast load calculations obtained using continuous monitors with those from a more traditional grab samples. We also will demonstrate how continuous nitrate monitoring informs watershed hydrology and the assessment of conservation practices designed to reduce nutrient loss from farmed fields. Finally, we will establish that the costs of real time continuous monitoring are modest when compared to grab sampling strategies and the costs of implementing conservation on productive lands in the Western Corn Belt of Iowa.
Soil quality is directly linked to food production, food security, and environmental quality (i.e. water quality, global warming, and energy use in food production). Unfortunately, moderate to severe degeneration of soils (i.e., loss of soil biodiversity, poor soil tilth, and unbalanced elemental c...
EPA NET represents a third generation of water quality modeling software developed by the U.S. EPA's Drinking Water Research Division, offering significant advances in the state of the art for network water quality analysis. PANET performs extended period simulation of hydraulic ...
Land, Larry F.; Shipp, Allison A.
Water samples collected from streams draining an agricultural area in the west-central part of the Trinity River Basin upstream from the Richland-Chambers Reservoir and from streams draining an urban area in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area during March 1993 - September 1995 were analyzed for nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus compounds). A comparison of the data for agricultural and urban streams shows the maximum concentration of total nitrogen is from an urban stream and the maximum concentration of total phosphorus is from an agricultural stream. One-half of the samples have total nitrogen concentrations equal to or less than 1.1 and 1.0 milligrams per liter in the agricultural and urban streams, respectively; and one-half of the samples have total phosphorous concentrations equal to or less than 0.04 and 0.05 milligram per liter in the agricultural and urban streams, respectively. The highest concentrations of total nitrogen in both types of streams are in the spring. The minimum concentrations of total nitrogen are during the summer in the agricultural streams and during the winter in the urban streams. Concentrations of total phosphorus in agricultural streams show negligible seasonal variability. The highest concentrations of total phosphorus are in spring and possibly late summer in the urban streams. In the midrange of streamflow in the urban streams and throughout the range of streamflow in the agricultural streams, concentrations of total nitrogen increase. Concentrations of total phosphorus increase with streamflow in the middle and upper ranges of streamflow in both agricultural and urban streams.
Water-quality assessment of the Delmarva Peninsula, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia; effects of agricultural activities on, and distribution of, nitrate and other inorganic constituents in the surficial aquifer
Hamilton, P.A.; Denver, J.M.; Phillips, P.J.; Shedlock, R.J.
Agricultural applications of inorganic fertilizers and manure have changed the natural chemical com- position of water in the surficial aquifer through- out the Delmarva Peninsula. Nitrate, derived from nitrification of ammonia in inorganic fertilizers and manure, is the dominant anion in agricultural areas. Concentrations of nitrate in 185 water samples collected in agricultural areas ranged from 0.4 to 48 mg/L as nitrogen, with a median concen- tration of 8.2 mg/L as nitrogen. Nitrate concen- trations exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's maximum contaminant level for drinking water of 10 mg/L as nitrogen in about 33% of the 185 water samples. Groundwater affected by agricultural activities contains significantly higher concentrations of dissolved constituents than does natural groundwater. Concentrations of calcium and magnesium are higher because of liming of soils, and concentrations of potassium and chloride are higher because of applications of potash, a supple- ment to the nitrogen-based fertilizers. Alkalinity concentrations commonly are decreased because the bicarbonate ion is consumed in buffering reactions with acid that is produced during nitrification. Effects of agricultural activities on groundwater quality are not limited to the near-surface parts of the aquifer underlying farm fields. Elevated concentrations are common in aerobic water at or near the base of the aquifer, 80 to 100 ft below land surface. The median concentration of nitrate in water beneath agricultural areas collected from 24 wells deeper than 80 ft below land surface was 8.5 mg/L as nitrogen, and concentrations in 9 of these water samples exceeded the maximum contaminant level. Regional variations in concentrations of nitrate and other agriculture related constituents in the surficial aquifer in the Delmarva Peninsula depend on a number of factors that include geomorphology, geology, soils, land use, and groundwater-flow patterns. (USGS)
This book reports on research and development in the study of pollution and methodologies to protect water quality, with emphasis on arid countries. Topics covered include overview of the effects of pollution on natural and human environments; water cycle and groundwater resources in arid countries; salinization; standards and technologies for waste water treatment; uses of recycled water; solid waste disposal; assessment of wastes from industry, agriculture, and shipping; methodologies of quality control; synthetic organic pollutants, including pesticides and PCBs; analytical techniques; quality control; sampling methodologies for organics, metals, and trace elements, including data acquisition techniques and instrumentation; data management; bioindicator organisms; assimilative capacity of receiving waters; application of appropriate water quality standards.
In the last three decades, there has been a growing public concern about the adverse effects of modern agriculture on environmental quality and soil-water resources. In the mid-1980's, the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) identified the need for models of whole agricultural systems that wi...
In the last three decades, there has been a growing public concern about the adverse effects of modern agriculture on environmental quality and soil-water resources. In the mid-1980s, the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) identified the need for models of whole agricultural systems th...
The Water Quality and Ecology Research Unit (WQERU) is part of the United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) National Sedimentation Laboratory located in Oxford, Mississippi. The stated research mission of the WQERU is to “address issues of water quality/quan...
Presentation will provide background information on continuous source water monitoring using online toxicity monitors and cover various tools available. Conceptual and practical aspects of source water quality monitoring will be discussed.
Zhu, T.; Ringler, C.; Rosegrant, M. W.
Irrigation is by far the single largest user of water in the world and is projected to remain so in the foreseeable future. Globally, irrigated agricultural land comprises less than twenty percent of total cropland but produces about forty percent of the world's food. Increasing world population will require more food and this will lead to more irrigation in many areas. As demands increase and water becomes an increasingly scarce resource, agriculture's competition for water with other economic sectors will be intensified. This water picture is expected to become even more complex as climate change will impose substantial impacts on water availability and demand, in particular for agriculture. To better understand future water demand and supply under global change, including changes in demographic, economic and technological dimensions, the water simulation module of IMPACT, a global water and food projection model developed at the International Food Policy Research Institute, is used to analyze future water demand and supply in agricultural and several non-agricultural sectors using downscaled GCM scenarios, based on water availability simulation done with a recently developed semi-distributed global hydrological model. Risk analysis is conducted to identify countries and regions where future water supply reliability for irrigation is low, and food security may be threatened in the presence of climate change. Gridded shadow values of irrigation water are derived for global cropland based on an optimization framework, and they are used to illustrate potential irrigation development by incorporating gridded water availability and existing global map of irrigation areas.
Review of the Pyrolysis Platform for Producing Bio-oil and Biochar: Technology, Logistics, and Potential Impacts on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Water Quality, Soil Quality, and Agricultural Productivity
Pyrolysis is a relatively simple, inexpensive, and robust thermochemical technology for transforming biomass into bio-oil, biochar, and syngas. The robust nature of the pyrolysis technology, which allows considerable flexibility in both the type and quality of the biomass feedstock, combined with a ...
Ockerman, Darwin J.; Fernandez, Carlos J.
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, and Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Corpus Christi, studied hydrologic conditions and water quality of rainfall and storm runoff of two primarily agricultural subwatersheds of the Oso Creek watershed in Nueces County, Texas. One area, the upper West Oso Creek subwatershed, is about 5,145 acres. The other area, a subwatershed drained by an unnamed tributary to Oso Creek (hereinafter, Oso Creek tributary), is about 5,287 acres. Rainfall and runoff (streamflow) were continuously monitored at the outlets of the two subwatersheds during the study period October 2005-September 2008. Seventeen rainfall samples were collected and analyzed for nutrients and major inorganic ions. Twenty-four composite runoff water-quality samples (12 at West Oso Creek, 12 at Oso Creek tributary) were collected and analyzed for nutrients, major inorganic ions, and pesticides. Twenty-six discrete suspended-sediment samples (12 West Oso Creek, 14 Oso Creek tributary) and 17 bacteria samples (10 West Oso Creek, 7 Oso Creek tributary) were collected and analyzed. These data were used to estimate, for selected constituents, rainfall deposition to and runoff loads and yields from the two subwatersheds. Quantities of fertilizers and pesticides applied in the two subwatersheds were compared with quantities of nutrients and pesticides in rainfall and runoff. For the study period, total rainfall was greater than average. Most of the runoff from the two subwatersheds occurred in response to a few specific storm periods. The West Oso Creek subwatershed produced more runoff during the study period than the Oso Creek tributary subwatershed, 13.95 inches compared with 9.45 inches. Runoff response was quicker and peak flows were higher in the West Oso Creek subwatershed than in the Oso Creek tributary subwatershed. Total nitrogen runoff yield for the 3
Howells, G. )
This timely and up-to-date volume brings together recent critical reviews on water quality requirements for freshwater fish commissioned by the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission, an agency of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. It provides a unique and authoritative source of critically evaluated water quality data concerning the effects of chromium, nickel, aluminum and nitrite on freshwater fish and includes an assessment of the toxicity of mixtures. The reports presented in this volume cover all stages of the life cycle and relevant trophic levels, including aquatic invertebrates and plants and potential bioaccumulation through the food chain. An extensive bibliography is provided for each chapter as well as a glossary of terms and a list of fish species mentioned in the text. This compilation of papers is the definitive reference volume for chemists, biologists, ecologists and toxicologists as well as for water resource managers concerned with management and control of pollution in fresh waters.
Koerkle, E.H.; Fishel, D.K.; Brown, M.J.; Kostelnik, K.M.
Water quality in the headwaters of the Little Conestoga Creek, Lancaster County, Pa., was investigated from April 1986 through September 1989 to determine possible effects of agricultural nutrient management on water quality. Nutrient management, an agricultural Best-Management Practice, was promoted in the 5.8-square-mile watershed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Clean Water Program. Nonpoint-source- agricultural contamination was evident in surface water and ground water in the watershed; the greatest contamination was in areas underlain by carbonate rock and with intensive row-crop and animal production. Initial implementation of nutrient management covered about 30 percent of applicable land and was concentrated in the Nutrient-Management Subbasin. By 1989, nutrient management covered about 45 percent of the entire Small Watershed, about 85 percent of the Nutrient- Management Subbasin, and less than 10 percent of the Nonnutrient-Management Subbasin. The number of farms implementing nutrient management increased from 14 in 1986 to 25 by 1989. Nutrient applications to cropland in the Nutrient- Management Subbasin decreased by an average of 35 percent after implementation. Comparison of base- flow surface-water quality from before and after implementation suggests that nutrient management was effective in slowing or reversing increases in concentrations of dissolved nitrate plus nitrite in the Nutrient-Management Subbasin. Although not statistically significant, the Mann-Whitney step-trend coefficient for the Nutrient-Management Subbasin was 0.8 milligram per liter, whereas trend coefficients for the Nonnutrient-Management Subbasin and the Small Watershed were 0.4 and 1.4 milligrams per liter, respectively, for the period of study. Analysis of covariance comparison of concurrent concentrations from the two sub- basins showed a significant decrease in concen- trations from the Nutrient-Management Subbasin compared to the Nonnutrient-Management Subbasin
Brender, Jean D; Weyer, Peter J
Agricultural compounds have been detected in drinking water, some of which are teratogens in animal models. The most commonly detected agricultural compounds in drinking water include nitrate, atrazine, and desethylatrazine. Arsenic can also be an agricultural contaminant, although arsenic often originates from geologic sources. Nitrate has been the most studied agricultural compound in relation to prenatal exposure and birth defects. In several case-control studies published since 2000, women giving birth to babies with neural tube defects, oral clefts, and limb deficiencies were more likely than control mothers to be exposed to higher concentrations of drinking water nitrate during pregnancy. Higher concentrations of atrazine in drinking water have been associated with abdominal defects, gastroschisis, and other defects. Elevated arsenic in drinking water has also been associated with birth defects. Since these compounds often occur as mixtures, it is suggested that future research focus on the impact of mixtures, such as nitrate and atrazine, on birth defects. PMID:27007730
Ho, M.; Parthasarathy, V.; Etienne, E.; Russo, T. A.; Devineni, N.; Lall, U.
Agricultural, industrial, and urban water use in the conterminous United States (CONUS) is highly dependent on groundwater that is largely drawn from nonsurficial wells (>30 m). We use a Demand-Sensitive Drought Index to examine the impacts of agricultural water needs, driven by low precipitation, high agricultural water demand, or a combination of both, on the temporal variability of depth to groundwater across the CONUS. We characterize the relationship between changes in groundwater levels, agricultural water deficits relative to precipitation during the growing season, and winter precipitation. We find that declines in groundwater levels in the High Plains aquifer and around the Mississippi River Valley are driven by groundwater withdrawals used to supplement agricultural water demands. Reductions in agricultural water demands for crops do not, however, lead to immediate recovery of groundwater levels due to the demand for groundwater in other sectors in regions such as Utah, Maryland, and Texas.
Technological advances in irrigated agriculture are crucial to meeting the challenge of increasing demand for agricultural products given limited quality and quantity of water resources for irrigation, impacts of climate variability, and the need to reduce environmental impacts. Multidisciplinary ap...
He, Tian; Lu, Yan; Cui, Yanping; Luo, Yabo; Wang, Min; Meng, Wei; Zhang, Kaijie; Zhao, Feifei
Market-based watershed protection instruments can effectively improve water quality at various catchment scales. Two payments for watershed services (PWS) programs for water quality improvement have been successively implemented in the Huai River catchment and its sub-watershed, the Shaying River catchment, in Henan Province since 2009. To detect changes in water quality in response to PWS schemes, nonparametric statistical approaches were used to analyze gradual and abrupt trends in water quality, focusing on chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) at 26 monitoring stations in the Huai River watershed during 2006-2013. The nonparametric Mann-Kendall test and the Theil-Sen estimator were used to identify trends and their magnitudes in weekly water quality observations and the Pettitt test was applied to change-point analysis of water quality time series. We found decreasing concentration trends in the weekly water quality data set in this catchment, with water quality at most stations affected by the PWS schemes. The COD and NH3-N concentrations decreased at 26 stations by an average of 0.05 mg/L wk and 0.01 mg/L wk, respectively, from 2006 to 2013. Meanwhile, the mean concentrations of COD and NH3-N decreased at the 26 stations by an average of 18.03 mg/L and 4.82 mg/L, respectively, after the abrupt change points of the time-series trends of these two pollutants. We also estimated annual reductions in COD and NH3-N for each station based on average flow observations using the Theil-Sen approach along with the resulting economic benefits from 2009 to 2010. The COD and NH3-N reductions were 14604.50 and 6213.25 t/y, respectively, in the Huai River catchment in Henan Province. The total economic benefits of reductions in these two pollutants were 769.71 million ¥ in 2009 and 2010, accounting for 0.08% and 0.06%, respectively, of the GDP in the entire Huai River watershed of Henan Province. These results provide new insights into the linkages
Roman, Harry T.
The quality of drinking water has been gaining a great deal of attention lately, especially as water delivery infrastructure continues to age. Particles of various metals such as lead and copper, and other substances like radon and arsenic could be entering drinking water supplies. Spilled-on-the-ground hydrocarbon-based substances are also…
Soil Conservation Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Nonpoint source pollution is both a relatively recent concern and a complex phenomenon with many unknowns. Knowing the extent to which agricultural sources contribute to the total pollutant load, the extent to which various control practices decrease this load, and the effect of reducing the pollutants delivered to a water body are basic to the…
Gerner, S.J.; Spangler, L.E.; Kimball, B.A.; Wilberg, D.E.; Naftz, D.L.
Water from the Colorado River and its tributaries is used for municipal and industrial purposes by about 27 million people and irrigates nearly 4 million acres of land in the Western United States. Water users in the Upper Colorado River Basin consume water from the Colorado River and its tributaries, reducing the amount of water in the river. In addition, application of water to agricultural land within the basin in excess of crop needs can increase the transport of dissolved solids to the river. As a result, dissolved-solids concentrations in the Colorado River have increased, affecting downstream water users. During 2004-05, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, investigated the occurrence and distribution of dissolved solids in water from the agricultural areas near Green River, Utah, and in the adjacent reach of the Green River, a principle tributary of the Colorado River. The flow-weighted concentration of dissolved solids diverted from the Green River for irrigation during 2004 and 2005 was 357 milligrams per liter and the mean concentration of water collected from seeps and drains where water was returning to the river during low-flow conditions was 4,170 milligrams per liter. The dissolved-solids concentration in water from the shallow part of the ground-water system ranged from 687 to 55,900 milligrams per liter. Measurable amounts of dissolved solids discharging to the Green River are present almost exclusively along the river banks or near the mouths of dry washes that bisect the agricultural areas. The median dissolved-solids load in discharge from the 17 drains and seeps visited during the study was 0.35 ton per day. Seasonal estimates of the dissolved-solids load discharging from the study area ranged from 2,800 tons in the winter to 6,400 tons in the spring. The estimate of dissolved solids discharging from the study area annually is 15,700 tons. Water samples collected from selected sites within
The continuous increase in global population and simultaneous decrease in good quality water resources emphasizes the need of using surface water and groundwater resources conjunctively for irrigation. The conjunctive use allows the utilization of poor quality water, which cannot be used as such for the crop production due to its harmful effect on soil and crop health. This paper presents an overview on issues and methods of the conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater resources for sustainable irrigated agriculture. The background of the conjunctive water use and its applications for the management of poor quality water and management of rising watertable are presented. The management of conjunctive water use through the computer-based models is also covered in this review. The advantages and disadvantages of the approach have been described. Conclusions are provided based on this review which could be useful for all the stakeholders.
The impact of anthropogenic chemicals on water quality, wildlife, and human health has received increasing attention in recent years. One potential source of anthropogenic compounds is land-based recycling programs which apply municipal wastes (biosolids) to large tracts of agricultural land in lie...
Lu, Yang; Liu, Xiu-wei; Zhang, Xi-ying
Water is one of the important resources in human activities. Scientifically and rationally evaluating the effects of human activities on water resources is important for sustainable water resource management. The innovative concepts of water footprint (WF) distinguished the human water consumption into green water, blue water and grey water which extended the evaluation methods in sustainable utilization of water resources. Concepts of WF based on virtual water (VW) and based on life cycle assessment (LCA) both combined water quality and water quantity are now the focuses in agricultural water management researches. Theory of WF based on VW includes the calculation of green, blue and grey WF as well as the evaluation of the sustainability of water environment. Theory of WF based on LCA reflects the overall impact of consumptive and degradative water use on the environment. The purpose of this article was to elaborate the research progresses in theoretical calculation methods and environmental sustainability assessment of the two water footprint theories and then to analyze the differentiation of these two methodologies in describing the consumptive water use in agriculture and its effects on environment. Finally, some future research aspects on water footprint were provided. PMID:26995933
Tidwell, V.; Hightower, M.
In 2005 thermoelectric power production accounted for withdrawals of 201 billion gallons per day (BGD) representing 49% of total withdrawals, making it the largest user of water in the U.S. In terms of freshwater withdrawals thermoelectric power production is the second largest user at 140 BGD just slightly behind freshwater withdrawals for irrigation (USGS 2005). In contrast thermoelectric water consumption is projected at 3.7 BGD or about 3% of total U.S. consumption (NETL 2008). Thermoelectric water consumption is roughly equivalent to that of all other industrial demands and represents one of the fastest growing sectors since 1980. In fact thermoelectric consumption is projected to increase by 42 to 63% between 2005 and 2030 (NETL 2008). Agricultural water consumption has remained relatively constant at roughly 84 BGD or about 84% of total water consumption. While long-term regional electricity transmission planning has traditionally focused on cost, infrastructure utilization, and reliability, issues concerning the availability of water represent an emerging issue. Thermoelectric expansion must be considered in the context of competing demands from other water use sectors balanced with fresh and non-fresh water supplies subject to climate variability. Often such expansion targets water rights transfers from irrigated agriculture. To explore evolving tradeoffs an integrated energy-water-agriculture decision support system has been developed. The tool considers alternative expansion scenarios for the future power plant fleet and the related demand for water. The availability of fresh and non-fresh water supplies, subject to local institutional controls is then explored. This paper addresses integrated energy-water-agriculture planning in the western U.S. and Canada involving an open and participatory process comprising decision-makers, regulators, utility and water managers.
In the photo above, the cylindrical container being lowered into the water is a water quality probe developed by NASA's Langley Research Center for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in an applications engineering project. It is part of a system- which also includes recording equipment in the helicopter-for on-the-spot analysis of water samples. It gives EPA immediate and more accurate information than the earlier method, in which samples are transported to a lab for analysis. Designed primarily for rapid assessment of hazardous spills in coastal and inland waters, the system provides a wide range of biological and chemical information relative to water pollution.
Pant, H. K.
Paradoxically, phosphorus (P) is one of the major nutrients for higher agricultural production, as well as it causes eutrophication/algal blooms in aquatic and semi-aquatic systems. Phosphorus loadings from agricultural/urban runoffs into lakes and rivers are becoming a global concern for the protection of water quality. Artificial wetlands are considered as a low cost alternative for treating wastewater including removal of P from sources such as agricultural and urban runoffs. However, the selection of the construction site may well determine the effectiveness of these wetlands. Studies show that P transformations in sediments/ soils are crucial for P sequestration in a wetland rather than the amounts of native P. Using 31Phosphorus Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (31P NMR), previously unreported an active organic P form, phosphoarginine, was identified, and the study indicates that abandonment of P impacted sites may not solve the P loading problem to the water bodies as the organic P compounds would not be as stable as they were thought, thus, can play a detrimental role in eutrophication of water bodies, after all.
With the backing of NASA, researchers at Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin have begun using satellite data to measure lake water quality and clarity of the lakes in the Upper Midwest. This false color IKONOS image displays the water clarity of the lakes in Eagan, Minnesota. Scientists measure the lake quality in satellite data by observing the ratio of blue to red light in the satellite data. When the amount of blue light reflecting off of the lake is high and the red light is low, a lake generally had high water quality. Lakes loaded with algae and sediments, on the other hand, reflect less blue light and more red light. In this image, scientists used false coloring to depict the level of clarity of the water. Clear lakes are blue, moderately clear lakes are green and yellow, and murky lakes are orange and red. Using images such as these along with data from the Landsat satellites and NASA's Terra satellite, the scientists plan to create a comprehensive water quality map for the entire Great Lakes region in the next few years. For more information, read: Testing the Waters (Image courtesy Upper Great Lakes Regional Earth Science Applications Center, based on data copyright Space Imaging)
Evaluation of agricultural best-management practices in the Conestoga River headwaters, Pennsylvania; description and water quality of the Little Conestoga Creek headwaters prior to the implementation of nutrient management
Fishel, D.K.; Brown, M.J.; Kostelnik, K.M.; Howse, M.A.
The headwaters of the Conestoga River are being studied to determine the effects of agricultural Best-Management Practices on surface-water and ground-water quality. As part of this study, a 5.82-square-mile area of the Little Conestoga Creek headwaters (Small Watershed) was monitored during 1984-86, prior to implementation of Best-Management Practices. This report describes the land use and hydrology of this study area and characterizes its surface-water and ground-water quality during the pre-Best-Management Practice phase. During base-flow conditions, median concentrations of dissolved nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen as nitrogen increased from 2.7 to 8.1 milligrams per liter as the stream flowed through the intensively-farmed carbonate valley. Median total phosphorus increased from 0.05 to 0.20 milligram per liter. Concentrations of dissolved nitrate nitrogen as nitrogen measured in ground water in carbonate rocks in the valley were as great as 25 milligrams per liter and consistently exceeded 10 milligrams per liter. Statistical analysis showed that it will require substantial reductions in concentrations and discharges of nitrogen and phosphorus in base flow to obtain statistically measurable improvements in water quality. If concentrations and discharges of total nitrogen in base flow at the five sites are reduced by 15 to 33 percent, and by 63 to 70 percent, respectively, then the Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney rank-sum test will be able to detect an improvement in water quality 95 percent of the time. Likewise, if concentrations of total phosphorus are reduced by 36 to 54 percent, or discharges of total phosphorus are reduced by 52 to 69 percent at the five sites, then an improvement in water quality will be able to be detected 95 percent of the time.
Multsch, S.; Al-Rumaikhani, Y. A.; Frede, H.-G.; Breuer, L.
The water footprint accounting method addresses the quantification of water consumption in agriculture, whereby three types of water to grow crops are considered, namely green water (consumed rainfall), blue water (irrigation from surface or groundwater) and grey water (water needed to dilute pollutants). Most of current water footprint assessments focus on global to continental scale. We therefore developed the spatial decision support system SPARE:WATER that allows to quantify green, blue and grey water footprints on regional scale. SPARE:WATER is programmed in VB.NET, with geographic information system functionality implemented by the MapWinGIS library. Water requirement and water footprints are assessed on a grid-basis and can then be aggregated for spatial entities such as political boundaries, catchments or irrigation districts. We assume in-efficient irrigation methods rather than optimal conditions to account for irrigation methods with efficiencies other than 100%. Furthermore, grey water can be defined as the water to leach out salt from the rooting zone in order to maintain soil quality, an important management task in irrigation agriculture. Apart from a thorough representation of the modelling concept we provide a proof of concept where we assess the agricultural water footprint of Saudi Arabia. The entire water footprint is 17.0 km3 yr-1 for 2008 with a blue water dominance of 86%. Using SPARE:WATER we are able to delineate regional hot spots as well as crop types with large water footprints, e.g. sesame or dates. Results differ from previous studies of national-scale resolution, underlining the need for regional water footprint assessments.
Water quality is a major problem in many parts of the world. Agriculture has been blamed for adverse water quality problems because of the considerable inputs of nutrients and pesticides in high production modern agricultural systems. When runoff occurs both soluble forms and those attached to soi...
Land drainage has been central to the development of North America since colonial times. Increasingly, agricultural drainage is being targeted as a conduit for pollution, particularly nutrient pollution. The export of agricultural drainage water and associated pollutants to surface water can be mana...
Nicholas, K. A.; Johansson, E. L.
In an increasingly teleconnected world, international trade drives the exchange of virtual land and water as crops produced in one region are consumed in another. In theory, this can be an optimal use of scarce resources if crops are grown where they can most efficiently be produced. Several recent analyses examine the export of land and water from food production in developing countries where these resources may be more abundant. Here we focus on a developed region and examine the virtual export of land and water from California, the leading agricultural state in the US and the leading global producer of a wide range of fruit, nut, and other specialty crops. As the region faces a serious, ongoing drought, water use is being questioned, and water policy governance re-examined, particularly in the agricultural sector which uses over three-quarters of water appropriations in the state. We look at the blue water embodied in the most widely grown crops in California and use network analysis to examine the trading patterns for flows of virtual land and water. We identify the main crops and export partners representing the majority of water exports. Considered in the context of tradeoffs for land and water resources, we highlight the challenges and opportunities for food production systems to play a sustainable role in meeting human needs while protecting the life-support systems of the planet.
McMordie Stoughton, Kate; Loper, Susan A.; Boyd, Brian K.
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory conducted a task for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army to quantify the Army’s ILA water use and to help improve the data quality and installation water reporting in the Army Energy and Water Reporting System.
Sharp increases in fertilizer and pesticide use throughout the 1960s and 1970s along with generally less attachment to soil particles may result in more widespread contamination of drinking water supplies. he purpose of this study was to highlight the use of agricultural chemical...
This report covers the final 17 miles of the Payette River (17050112) and 32,000 acres of irrigated cropland referred to as the Lower Payette State Agricultural Water Quality Project. An in-depth surface and ground water monitoring effort was initiated in June 1992 and completed...
Serious water deficits with deteriorating environmental quality are threatening agricultural sustainability in the North China Plain (NCP). This paper addresses spatial and temporal availability of water resources in the NCP, and identifies the effects of soil management, irrigation and crop genetic...
QUAL2K (or Q2K) is a river and stream water quality model that is intended to represent a modernized version of the QUAL2E (or Q2E) model (Brown and Barnwell 1987). Q2K is similar to Q2E in the following respects:
A water quality monitoring study was conducted on Stockney Creek (17060305) for the following purposes: 1) to determine baseline water quality; 2) to document water quality effects of spring and storm agricultural runoff; and 3) to determine whether implementation of Best Manage...
Chaturvedi, Vaibhav; Hejazi, Mohamad I.; Edmonds, James A.; Clarke, Leon E.; Kyle, G. Page; Davies, Evan; Wise, Marshall A.; Calvin, Katherine V.
Energy, water and land are scarce resources, critical to humans. Developments in each affect the availability and cost of the others, and consequently human prosperity. Measures to limit greenhouse gas concentrations will inevitably exact dramatic changes on energy and land systems and in turn alter the character, magnitude and geographic distribution of human claims on water resources. We employ the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM), an integrated assessment model to explore the interactions of energy, land and water systems in the context of alternative policies to limit climate change to three alternative levels: 2.5 Wm-2 (445 ppm CO2-e), 3.5 Wm-2 (535 ppm CO2-e) and 4.5 Wm-2 (645 ppm CO2-e). We explore the effects of two alternative land-use emissions mitigation policy options—one which taxes terrestrial carbon emissions equally with fossil fuel and industrial emissions, and an alternative which only taxes fossil fuel and industrial emissions but places no penalty on land-use change emissions. We find that increasing populations and economic growth could be anticipated to almost triple demand for water for agricultural systems across the century even in the absence of climate policy. In general policies to mitigate climate change increase agricultural demands for water still further, though the largest changes occur in the second half of the century, under both policy regimes. The two policies examined profoundly affected both the sources and magnitudes of the increase in irrigation water demands. The largest increases in agricultural irrigation water demand occurred in scenarios where only fossil fuel emissions were priced (but not land-use change emission) and were primarily driven by rapid expansion in bioenergy production. In these scenarios water demands were large relative to present-day total available water, calling into question whether it would be physically possible to produce the associated biomass energy. We explored the potential of improved
Deasy, Clare; Quinton, John; Stoate, Chris
Across Europe, many rivers and lakes are polluted. In the UK, the Biodiversity Action Plan estimates that over 70% of lakes are eutrophic. Diffuse pollution from agriculture is currently of extreme concern, but pollution and flood risk can be mitigated by management activities. The use of in-field mitigation options such as reduced tillage has been found to be effective at reducing runoff, sediment and nutrient loss in overland flow, but pollutants can still be lost from hillslopes unchecked via subsurface flow pathways, some of which may contribute very high loads of nutrients to streams. Edge-of-field mitigation approaches, which can tackle both surface and subsurface pathways at locations where they discharge into ditches and streams, therefore have greater potential as runoff control measures than in-field measures alone. In the UK, the implementation, effectiveness and functioning of seven new wetlands constructed at the edges of agricultural fields is currently being assessed. The constructed wetlands, of different designs, which are fed by different flow types and are located on different farm and soil types, are continuously monitored for discharge and turbidity at inlets and outlets, while storm sampling allows assessment of sediment and nutrient transfer into and out of the wetland at times when there is a high risk of pollutant transfer. Pond surveys and sediment sampling will take place annually, and tracer experiments will be carried out in the course of the project. The data will be used to generate information on sediment and nutrient load reductions or wetland effectiveness, wetland sediment and nutrient budgets, and water and sediment residence times. In this paper we present the initial results, including novel high-resolution data from the first monitored events. Early outputs suggest that constructed wetlands which receive surface runoff inputs can retain flood waters and may reduce flood peaks, wetlands built to take drain outfalls may be
Water quality standards are the foundation for water management actions. They provide the basis for regulating discharges of pollutants to surface waters, and provide a target for restoration of degraded waters. Water quality standards identify and protect uses of the water bod...
It is well known that crop production and hydrologic variation on watersheds is weather related. Rarely, however, is meteorological data quality checks reported for agricultural systems model research. We present quality assurance procedures for agricultural system model weather data input. Problems...
An automated water quality monitoring system was developed by Langley Research Center to meet a need of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Designed for unattended operation in water depths up to 100 feet, the system consists of a subsurface buoy anchored in the water, a surface control unit (SCU) and a hydrophone link for acoustic communication between buoy and SCU. Primary functional unit is the subsurface buoy. It incorporates 16 cells for water sampling, plus sensors for eight water quality measurements. Buoy contains all the electronic equipment needed for collecting and storing sensor data, including a microcomputer and a memory unit. Power for the electronics is supplied by a rechargeable nickel cadmium battery that is designed to operate for about two weeks. Through hydrophone link the subsurface buoy reports its data to the SCU, which relays it to land stations. Link allows two-way communications. If system encounters a problem, it automatically shuts down and sends alert signal. Sequence of commands sent via hydrophone link causes buoy to release from anchor and float to the surface for recovery.
Kelly, Brian P.
A detailed ground-water sampling plan was developed and executed for 64 monitoring wells in the city of Independence well field to characterize ground-water quality in the 10-year zone of contribution. Samples were collected from monitoring wells, combined Independence well field pumpage, and the Missouri River at St. Joseph, Missouri, from 1998 through 2000. In 328 ground-water samples from the 64 monitoring wells and combined well field pumpage samples, specific conductance values ranged from 511 to 1,690 microsiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius, pH values ranged from 6.4 to 7.7, water temperature ranged from 11.3 to 23.6 degrees Celsius, and dissolved oxygen concentrations ranged from 0 to 3.3 milligrams per liter. In 12 samples from the combined well field pumpage samples, specific conductance values ranged from 558 to 856 microsiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius, pH values ranged from 6.9 to 7.7, water temperature ranged from 5.8 to 22.9 degrees Celsius, and dissolved oxygen concentrations ranged from 0 to 2.4 milligrams per liter. In 45 Missouri River samples, specific conductance values ranged from 531 to 830 microsiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius, pH ranged from 7.2 to 8.7, water temperature ranged from 0 to 30 degrees Celsius, and dissolved oxygen concentrations ranged from 5.0 to 17.6 milligrams per liter. The secondary maximum contaminant level for sulfate in drinking water was exceeded once in samples from two monitoring wells, the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for antimony was exceeded once in a sample from one monitoring well, and the MCL for barium was exceeded once in a sample from one monitoring well. The MCL for iron was exceeded in samples from all monitoring wells except two. The MCL for manganese was exceeded in all samples from monitoring wells and combined well field pumpage. Enzyme linked immunoassay methods indicate total benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene (BTEX) was detected in samples from five
Brauman, K. A.; Flörke, M.; Mueller, N. D.; Foley, J. A.
Water is integral to agricultural production, and agriculture is by far the largest human use of water, so food security and water sustainability are inexorably linked. When water goes to food production, however, the benefits and costs are not uniformly distributed across the globe. We quantify the magnitude and global range of the multidimensional tradeoffs among food production, water consumption, and water quality impairment. To evaluate the productivity of water consumption in agriculture, we quantified the magnitude and global range of crop water productivity, the amount of food produced per unit of water consumed, for 16 major food crops (Brauman et al., 2013). We now expand on this, contextualizing the impact of high or low water productivity with information about water availability. Using outputs from the WaterGAP3 model (Flörke et al., 2013, Verzano et al. 2012), we map the burden of agricultural water consumption on total water availability. To incorporate impacts of agriculture on water quality, we include areas of excess nutrient application (Mueller et al., 2012). The integrated information about yield, water consumption, water availability, and nutrient application shows that benefits and impacts to water quantity and quality are not evenly distributed. Analogous to previous investigations of 'yield gaps,' which identified areas where biophysical conditions are sufficient for achieving yields higher than those that are attained (Licker et al., 2010), we show that in many places, for the given impacts to water, food production could be increased.
Vieira, Judite; Fonseca, André; Vilar, Vítor J P; Boaventura, Rui A R; Botelho, Cidália M S
In the past 30 years, the Lis river basin has been subjected to constant ecological disasters mainly due to piggery untreated wastewater discharges. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of existing domestic, agricultural, and industrial activities on the water quality, and to propose a watershed plan to protect and manage surface water resources within the Lis river basin. For this purpose, 16 monitoring stations have been strategically selected along the Lis river stretch and its main tributaries to evaluate the water quality in six different sampling periods (2003–2006). All samples were characterized in terms of organic material, nutrients, chlorophyll, and pathogenic bacteria. Generally, the Lis river presents poor water quality, according to environmental quality standards for surface water, principally in terms of dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, total nitrogen, and fecal coliform, which can be associated mainly with the contamination source from pig-breeding farms. PMID:22286837
We, as water resource professionals, are faced with a truly monumental challenge - that is feeding the world's growing population and ensuring it has an adequate supply of clean water. As researchers and educators it is good for us to regularly remember that our research and outreach efforts are critical to people around the world, many of whom are desperate for solutions to water quality and supply problems and their impacts on food supply, land management, and ecosystem protection. In this presentation, recommendations for successful applied research on agricultural impacts on water resources will be provided. The benefits of building multidisciplinary teams will be illustrated with examples related to the development and world-wide application of the ALMANAC, SWAT, and EPIC/APEX models. The value of non-traditional partnerships will be shown by the Soil Health Partnership, a coalition of agricultural producers, chemical and seed companies, and environmental advocacy groups. The results of empowering decision-makers with useful data will be illustrated with examples related to bacteria source and transport data and the MANAGE database, which contains runoff nitrogen and phosphorus data for cultivated, pasture, and forest land uses. The benefits of focusing on sustainable solutions will be shown through examples of soil testing, fertilizers application, on-farm profit analysis, and soil health assessment. And the value of welcoming criticism will be illustrated by the development of a framework to estimate and publish uncertainty in measured discharge and water quality data. The good news for researchers is that the agricultural industry is faced with profitability concerns and the need to wisely utilize soil and water resources, and simultaneously state and federal agencies crave sound-science to improve decision making, policy, and regulation. Thus, the audience for and beneficiaries of agricultural research are ready and hungry for applied research results.
Chen, Y.; Ale, S.; Rajan, N.
The semi-arid Texas High Plains (THP) region, where cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is grown in vast acreage, has the potential to grow perennial bioenergy grasses. A change in land use from cotton cropping systems to perennial grasses such as Alamo switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and Miscanthus giganteus (Miscanthus sinensis Anderss. [Poaceae]) can significantly affect regional hydrologic cycle and water quality. Assessing the impacts of this potential land use change on hydrology and water quality enables the environmental assessment of feasibility to grow perennial grasses in this region to meet the U.S. national bioenergy target of 2022. The Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) model was used in this study to assess the impacts of replacing cotton with switchgrass and Miscanthus on water and nitrogen balances in the upstream subwatershed of the Double Mountain Fork Brazos watershed in the THP, which contains 52% cotton land use. The APEX model was initially calibrated against observed streamflow and crop yield data. Since observed data on nitrogen loads in streamflow was not available for this subwatershed, we calibrated the APEX model against the SWAT-simulated nitrogen loads at the outlet of this subwatershed, which were obtained in a parallel study. The calibrated APEX model was used to simulate the impacts of land use change from cotton to Miscanthus and switchgrass on surface and subsurface water and nitrogen balances. Preliminary results revealed that the average (1994-2009) annual surface runoff decreased by 84% and 66% under the irrigated and dryland switchgrass scenarios compared to the baseline scenarios. Average annual percolation increased by 106% and 57% under the irrigated and dryland switchgrass scenarios relative to the baseline scenarios. Preliminary results also indicated Miscanthus and switchgrass appeared to be superior to cotton in terms of better water conservation and water quality, and minimum crop management requirements.
Efficient aquaculture production depends upon maintaining acceptable water quality conditions in culture units. This handbook discusses background information from chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering necessary for understanding the principles of water quality management in aquaculture. It a...
Coulliette, Angela D.; Arduino, Matthew J.
Over 383,900 individuals in the U.S. undergo maintenance hemodialysis that exposes them to water, primarily in the form of dialysate. The quality of water and associated dialysis solutions have been implicated in adverse patient outcomes and is therefore critical. The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation has published both standards and recommended practices that address both water and the dialyzing solutions. Some of these recommendations have been adopted into Federal Regulations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as part of the Conditions for Coverage, which includes limits on specific contaminants within water used for dialysis, dialysate, and substitution fluids. Chemical, bacterial, and endotoxin contaminants are health threats to dialysis patients, as shown by the continued episodic nature of outbreaks since the 1960s causing at least 592 cases and 16 deaths in the U.S. The importance of the dialysis water distribution system, current standards and recommendations, acceptable monitoring methods, a review of chemical, bacterial, and endotoxin outbreaks, and infection control programs are discussed. PMID:23859187
Konar, M.; Dang, Q.; Lin, X.
Global virtual water trade is an important research topic that has yielded several interesting insights. In this paper, we present a comprehensive assessment of virtual water flows within the USA, a country with global importance as a major agricultural producer and trade power. This is the first study of domestic virtual water flows based upon intra-national food flow data and it provides insight into how the properties of virtual water flows vary across scales. We find that both the value and volume of food flows within the USA are roughly equivalent to half that of international flows. However, USA food flows are more water intensive than international food trade, due to the higher fraction of water-intensive meat trade within the USA. The USA virtual water flow network is more social, homogeneous, and equitable than the global virtual water trade network, although it is still not perfectly equitable. Importantly, a core group of U.S. States is central to the network structure, indicating that both domestic and international trade may be vulnerable to disruptive climate or economic shocks in these U.S. States.
...; ] DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Agricultural Water Enhancement Program and Cooperative... agreements with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through either the Agricultural Water... Agricultural Water Enhancement Program Legislative Authority The Agricultural Water Enhancement Program...
This is a 1:24,000-scale datalayer of Ground Water Quality Classifications in Connecticut. It is a polygon Shapefile that includes polygons for GA, GAA, GAAs, GB, GC and other related ground water quality classes. Each polygon is assigned a ground water quality class, which is s...
Boehm, Alexandria B.; Whitman, Richard L.; Nevers, Meredith; Hou, Deyi; Weisberg, Stephen B.
Advances in molecular techniques may soon provide new opportunities to provide more timely information on whether recreational beaches are free from fecal contamination. However, an alternative approach is the use of predictive models. This chapter presents a summary of these developing efforts. First, we describe documented physical, chemical, and biological factors that have been demonstrated by researchers to affect bacterial concentrations at beaches and thus represent logical parameters for inclusion in a model. Then, we illustrate how various types of models can be applied to predict water quality at freshwater and marine beaches.
Fereres, Elias; Soriano, María Auxiliadora
At present and more so in the future, irrigated agriculture will take place under water scarcity. Insufficient water supply for irrigation will be the norm rather than the exception, and irrigation management will shift from emphasizing production per unit area towards maximizing the production per unit of water consumed, the water productivity. To cope with scarce supplies, deficit irrigation, defined as the application of water below full crop-water requirements (evapotranspiration), is an important tool to achieve the goal of reducing irrigation water use. While deficit irrigation is widely practised over millions of hectares for a number of reasons - from inadequate network design to excessive irrigation expansion relative to catchment supplies - it has not received sufficient attention in research. Its use in reducing water consumption for biomass production, and for irrigation of annual and perennial crops is reviewed here. There is potential for improving water productivity in many field crops and there is sufficient information for defining the best deficit irrigation strategy for many situations. One conclusion is that the level of irrigation supply under deficit irrigation should be relatively high in most cases, one that permits achieving 60-100% of full evapotranspiration. Several cases on the successful use of regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) in fruit trees and vines are reviewed, showing that RDI not only increases water productivity, but also farmers' profits. Research linking the physiological basis of these responses to the design of RDI strategies is likely to have a significant impact in increasing its adoption in water-limited areas. PMID:17088360
Subsurface water quality from agricultural systems varies with the type of system and management. Systems with high inputs from fertilizer and/or manure may have high nutrient levels, e.g. NO3-N, in subsurface water. This study investigates the water quality from tile lines on grass-based dairy fa...
Stone, E.; Hornberger, G. M.
Efficient management of freshwater resources is critical as concerns with water security increase due to changes in climate, population, and land use. Effective water management in agricultural systems is especially important for irrigation and water quality. This research explores the implications of tradeoffs between maximization of crop yield and minimization of nitrogen loss to the environment, primarily to surface water and groundwater, in rice production in Sri Lanka. We run the DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) model under Sri Lankan climate and soil conditions. The model serves as a tool to simulate crop management scenarios with different irrigation and fertilizer practices in two climate regions of the country. Our investigation uses DNDC to compare rice yields, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and nitrogen leaching under different cultivation scenarios. The results will inform best practices for farmers and decision makers in Sri Lanka on the management of water resources and crops.
Building and maintaining soil quality is the basis for successful organic farming. However, before developing a soil management plan focused on soil quality in organic systems, farmers should become knowledgeable regarding the overall philosophies, legalities, and marketing opportunities in organic ...
Schilling, Keith E; Jacobson, Peter J; Vogelgesang, Jason A
With current trends of converting grasslands to row crop agriculture in vulnerable areas, there is a critical need to evaluate the effects of land use on groundwater quality in large river floodplain systems. In this study, groundwater hydrology and nutrient dynamics associated with three land cover types (grassland, floodplain forest and cropland) were assessed at the Cedar River floodplain in southeastern Iowa. The cropland site consisted of newly-converted grassland, done specifically for our study. Our objectives were to evaluate spatial and temporal variations in groundwater hydrology and quality, and quantify changes in groundwater quality following land conversion from grassland to row crop in a floodplain. We installed five shallow and one deep monitoring wells in each of the three land cover types and recorded water levels and quality over a three year period. Crop rotations included soybeans in year 1, corn in year 2 and fallow with cover crops during year 3 due to river flooding. Water table levels behaved nearly identically among the sites but during the second and third years of our study, NO₃-N concentrations in shallow floodplain groundwater beneath the cropped site increased from 0.5 mg/l to more than 25 mg/l (maximum of 70 mg/l). The increase in concentration was primarily associated with application of liquid N during June of the second year (corn rotation), although site flooding may have exacerbated NO₃-N leaching. Geophysical investigation revealed differences in ground conductivity among the land cover sites that related significantly to variations in groundwater quality. Study results provide much-needed information on the effects of different land covers on floodplain groundwater and point to challenges ahead for meeting nutrient reduction goals if row crop land use expands into floodplains. PMID:25687808
As agricultural and urban communities have become more intertwined, and the average size of agricultural production operations have increased substantially, issues of air quality have emerged as an area of increasing regulatory pressure for farmers in many countries. The science of measuring emissi...
Recent studies by USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have indicated potential for significant improvement in the quality and application of Precision Agriculture products through the use of very high resolution imagery. An assessment of potential platforms to collect such imagery at an afford...
Hunt, Patrick G; Matheny, Terry A; Ro, Kyoung S; Stone, Kenneth C; Vanotti, Matias B
Nonpoint source nitrogen is recognized as a significant water pollutant worldwide. One of the major contributors is agricultural drainage line water. A potential method of reducing this nitrogen discharge to water bodies is the use of immobilized denitrifying sludge (IDS). Our objectives were to (1) produce an effective IDS, (2) determine the IDS reaction kinetics in laboratory column bioreactors, and (3) test a field bioreactor for nitrogen removal from agricultural drainage line water. We developed a mixed liquor suspended solid (MLSS) denitrifying sludge using inoculant from an overland flow treatment system. It had a specific denitrification rate of 11.4 mg NO(3)-N g(-1) MLSS h(-1). We used polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) to immobilize this sludge and form IDS pellets. When placed in a 3.8-L column bioreactor, the IDS had a maximum removal rate (K(MAX)) of 3.64 mg NO(3)-N g(-1) pellet d(-1). In a field test with drainage water containing 7.8 mg NO(3)-N L(-1), 50% nitrogen removal was obtained with a 1 hr hydraulic retention time. Expressed as a 1 m(3) cubically-shaped bioreactor, the nitrogen removal rate would be 94 g NO(3)-N m(-2)d(-1), which is dramatically higher than treatment wetlands or passive carbonaceous bioreactors. IDS bioreactors offer potential for reducing nitrogen discharge from agricultural drainage lines. More research is needed to develop the bioreactors for agricultural use and to devise effective strategies for their implementation with other emerging technologies for improved water quality on both watershed and basin scales. PMID:18569323
In an effort to address the particular policy challenges posed by the agriculture/water quality dilemma, this study, focuses on the experience of the European Community (EC), where high levels of nitrate, phosphate, and pesticides in surface and groundwater are a source of increasing concern. Agricultural and water quality-related environmental policies at EC level, as well as national level, are examined, and new policy approaches that try to integrate agricultural and environmental considerations are discussed. This study thus provides insights into policy options for controlling agricultural water pollution, which might be useful in other parts of the world.
Wilkinson, M. E.; Quinn, P. F.; Jonczyk, J.; Burke, S.; Nicholson, A.; Barber, N.; Owen, G.; Palmer, M.
A number of studies have suggested that there is evidence that modern land-use management practices have increased surface runoff at the local scale. There is an urgent need for interventions to reduce the risk of flooding whilst also delivering multiple benefits (doing more for less). There are many settlements, which regularly suffer from flooding, which would benefit from upstream mitigation measures. Interventions at the source of runoff generation can have a positive impact on the flood hydrograph downstream. An integrated approach to managing runoff can also have multiple benefits on pollution and ecology, which could lead to beneficial impacts at the catchment scale. Belford, a small community in Northumberland, UK has suffered from an increased number of flood events over the past ten years. There is currently support within the English and Welsh Environment Agency for sustainable flood management solutions such as storage ponds, wetlands, beaver dams and willow riparian features which are being trialled at Belford. These runoff attenuation features (RAFs) also have benefits to water quality, capture sediment and create new ecological zones. Although the process by which numerous RAFs were deployed in Belford proved initially difficult to achieve within the existing regulatory framework, an efficient uptake process is now supported by local regulators including several branches of the Environment Agency. The Belford runoff management framework provides a step by step guide to implementing mitigation measures in the Belford burn catchment and could be easily applied to other catchments at a similar scale. The approach is based on implementing mitigation measures through engaging with catchment stakeholders and using solid field science and management protocols.
Grand Lake St. Marys (GLSM), a 13,000 acre lake in northwestern Ohio, is experiencing toxic levels of algal blooms resulting primarily from phosphorus input from agricultural runoff. The algal blooms are so severe that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources advised against any...
This study examined the influences of water chemistry on the quality of process water used in immersion chillers. During commercial poultry processing the bird carcasses come in direct contact with process water during washing and chilling operations. Contamination of the process water with bacteria...
The Water Quality Assessment Methodology (WQAM) is a screening procedure for toxic and conventional pollutants in surface and ground waters and is a collection of formulas, tables, and graphs that planners can use for preliminary assessment of surface and ground water quality in ...
The overall objective of this pilot study was to develop and evaluate methods to determine the effect of quality of recreational waters on the health of persons bathing in those waters. There is little scientific evidence upon which to base water quality standards for the safety ...
Ramaswamy, Sai K; Mosher, Gretchen A
Agriculture is a high-hazard industry that employs a large number of young workers below the age of 25. Recent studies have documented a strong positive correlation between quality management in agriculture and occupational safety as perceived by agricultural workers. Younger workers have been found to be at higher risk for occupational injuries and fatalities in agriculture. Furthermore, college students in agriculture have minimal exposure to safety and quality management principles in their coursework and thus may not be aware that the two concepts are associated Little research has studied how young workers perceive the relationship between safety and quality and how these perceptions vary based on demographic characteristics. This study builds on prior research that measured the interactions between employee perceptions of safety and quality in an agricultural work environment. Data were collected using a survey instrument adapted from a previously validated instrument. Analysis of 1017 responses showed that students perceived a high impact of quality practices on the reduction of safety hazards and safety incidents. Students' perceptions of quality and safety in agricultural work environments varied by gender, with female students perceiving the relationship between the two at a higher level than males. No significant difference in perceptions was observed based on students' academic classification, age group, field of study, or childhood environment. This study demonstrates that despite limited academic training in safety and quality, pre-professionals perceive the implementation of quality management as a very important factor in mitigating safety hazards and safety incidents. In addition, this study suggests that current academic training in these disciplines must be modified, since no differences in students' perceptions were observed based on academic classification or field of study. PMID:26211353
Abu-Zahra, T R
An experiment was carried out under plastic house conditions to compare the effect of four fermented organic matter sources (cattle, poultry and sheep manure in addition to 1:1:1 mixture of the three organic matter sources) in which 4 kg organic matter m(-2) were used, with that of the conventional agriculture (chemical fertilizers) treatments on Marvello red pepper fruit quality, by using a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four replicates. Pepper fruits characteristics cultivated in soil supplemented with manure were generally better than those from plants grown in soil only. Addition of animal manure increased bell pepper fruit content of soluble solids, ascorbic acid, total phenols, crude fibre and intensity of red color as compare with conventional agriculture that produced fruits with higher titratable acidity, water content, lycopene and bigger fruit size. In most cases of animal manure treatments, best results were obtained by the sheep manure treatment that produced the highest TSS, while the worst results were obtained by the poultry manure treatment that produced the smallest fruit and lowest fruit lycopene content. PMID:22518928
... Quality Task Force AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: The Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) will meet to...
Hansen, David J.; Binford, Gregory D.
Water quality is a critical environmental, social, and political issue in Delaware. In the late 1990s, a series of events related to water quality issues led to the passage of a state nutrient management law. This new law required nutrient management planning and established a state certification program for nutrient users in the agricultural and…
Haque, Saad Ul
The two main global issues related to water are its declining quality and quantity. Population growth, industrialization, increase in agriculture land and urbanization are the main causes upon which the inland water bodies are confronted with the increasing water demand. The quality of surface water has also been degraded in many countries over the past few decades due to the inputs of nutrients and sediments especially in the lakes and reservoirs. Since water is essential for not only meeting the human needs but also to maintain natural ecosystem health and integrity, there are efforts worldwide to assess and restore quality of surface waters. Remote sensing techniques provide a tool for continuous water quality information in order to identify and minimize sources of pollutants that are harmful for human and aquatic life. The proposed methodology is focused on assessing quality of water at selected lakes in Pakistan (Sindh); namely, HUBDAM, KEENJHAR LAKE, HALEEJI and HADEERO. These lakes are drinking water sources for several major cities of Pakistan including Karachi. Satellite imagery of Landsat 7 (ETM+) is used to identify the variation in water quality of these lakes in terms of their optical properties. All bands of Landsat 7 (ETM+) image are analyzed to select only those that may be correlated with some water quality parameters (e.g. suspended solids, chlorophyll a). The Optimum Index Factor (OIF) developed by Chavez et al. (1982) is used for selection of the optimum combination of bands. The OIF is calculated by dividing the sum of standard deviations of any three bands with the sum of their respective correlation coefficients (absolute values). It is assumed that the band with the higher standard deviation contains the higher amount of 'information' than other bands. Therefore, OIF values are ranked and three bands with the highest OIF are selected for the visual interpretation. A color composite image is created using these three bands. The water quality
Saad, David A.
Estimated recharge dates showed that historic patterns of atrazine plus deethyl atrazine concentrations in ground water mimic historic patterns of atrazine use on corn. Concentrations in ground water that recharged prior to the early 1960s, when atrazine started to become widely used on corn in Wisconsin, were very low or not detectable. As atrazine use on corn steadily increased from the late 1960s to the late 1970s and early 1980s, detectable concentrations of atrazine plus deethyl atrazine in ground water became more common. The recharge dates of some of the highest measured concentrations of atrazine plus ethyl atrazine in ground water from both study areas correspond to the period of highest atrazine use on corn within the State.
In arid regions, reductions in the amount of available agricultural water are fueling interest in alternative, low water-use crops. Perennial grasses have potential as low water-use biofuel crops. However, little is known about which perennial grasses can produce high quantity, high quality yields w...
Unlike in urban areas where intensive water reclamation systems are available, development of decentralized technologies and systems is required for water use to be sustainable in agricultural areas. To overcome various water quality issues in those areas, a research project entitled 'Development of an innovative water management system with decentralized water reclamation and cascading material-cycle for agricultural areas under the consideration of climate change' was launched in 2009. This paper introduces the concept of this research and provides detailed information on each of its research areas: (1) development of a diffuse agricultural pollution control technology using catch crops; (2) development of a decentralized differentiable treatment system for livestock and human excreta; and (3) development of a cascading material-cycle system for water pollution control and value-added production. The author also emphasizes that the innovative water management system for agricultural areas should incorporate a strategy for the voluntary collection of bio-resources. PMID:22828292
Tundisi, J. G.; Matsumura-Tundisi, T.; Ciminelli, V. S.; Barbosa, F. A.
The major challenge for achieving a sustainable future for water resources and water security is the integration of water availability, water quality and water governance. Water is unevenly distributed on Planet Earth and these disparities are cause of several economic, ecological and social differences in the societies of many countries and regions. As a consequence of human misuse, growth of urbanization and soil degradation, water quality is deteriorating continuously. Key components for the maintenance of water quantity and water quality are the vegetation cover of watersheds, reduction of the demand and new water governance that includes integrated management, predictive evaluation of impacts, and ecosystem services. Future research needs are discussed.
Yarger, H. L.; Mccauley, J. R.; James, G. W.; Magnuson, L. M.; Marzolf, G. R.
Analyses of ERTS-1 MSS computer compatible tapes of reservoir scenes in Kansas along with ground truth show that MSS bands and band ratios can be used for reliable prediction of suspended loads up to at least 900 ppm. The major reservoirs in Kansas, as well as in other Great Plains states, are playing increasingly important roles in flood control, recreation, agriculture, and urban water supply. Satellite imagery is proving useful for acquiring timely low cost water quality data required for optimum management of these fresh water resources.
Wilde, Franceska D.
WaterQualityWatch is an online resource of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that provides access to continuous real-time measurements of water temperature, specific electrical conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and nitrate at selected data-collection stations throughout the Nation. Additional online resources of the USGS that pertain to various types of water-quality information are shown on the reverse side of this bookmark.
Aneja, Viney P.; Blunden, Jessica; Roelle, Paul A.; Schlesinger, William H.; Knighton, Raymond; Niyogi, Dev; Gilliam, Wendell; Jennings, Greg; Duke, Clifford S.
The first Workshop on Agricultural Air Quality: State of the Science was held at the Bolger Center in Potomac, Maryland from 4 to 8 June 2006. This international conference assembled approximately 350 people representing 25 nations from 5 continents, with disciplines ranging from atmospheric chemistry to soil science. The workshop was designed as an open forum in which participants could openly exchange the most current knowledge and learn about numerous international perspectives regarding agricultural air quality. Participants represented many stakeholder groups concerned with the growing need to assess agricultural impacts on the atmosphere and to develop beneficial policies to improve air quality. The workshop focused on identifying methods to improve emissions inventories and best management practices for agriculture. Workshop participants also made recommendations for technological and methodological improvements in current emissions measurement and modeling practices. The workshop commenced with a session on agricultural emissions and was followed by international perspectives from the United States, Europe, Australia, India, and South America. This paper summarizes the findings and issues of the workshop and articulates future research needs. These needs were identified in three general areas: (1) improvement of emissions measurement; (2) development of appropriate emission factors; and (3) implementation of best management practices (BMPs) to minimize negative environmental impacts. Improvements in the appropriate measurements will inform decisions regarding US farming practices. A need was demonstrated for a national/international network to monitor atmospheric emissions from agriculture and their subsequent depositions to surrounding areas. Information collected through such a program may be used to assess model performance and could be critical for evaluating any future regulatory policies or BMPs. The workshop concluded that efforts to maximize
Miller, J. A.; And Others
The role analytical instrumentation performs in the surveillance and control of the quality of water resources is reviewed. Commonly performed analyses may range from simple tests for physical parameters to more highly sophisticated radiological or spectrophotometric methods. This publication explores many of these types of water quality analyses…
Reneau, Fred; And Others
This booklet presents informative materials on fertilizer use and water quality, specifically in regard to environmental pollution and protection in Illinois. The five chapters cover these topics: Fertilizer and Water Quality, Fertilizer Use, Fertilizers and the Environment, Safety Practices, and Fertilizer Management Practices. Key questions are…
The Water Quality Analysis Simulation Program (WASP6), an enhancement of the original WASP (Di Toro et al., 1983; Connolly and Winfield,1984; Ambrose, R.B. et al.,1988). This model helps users interpret and predict water quality responses to natural phenomena and man-made polluti...