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Assessing the Impact of Improved Nutrient Management Plans on Surface Water Quality – A Case Study in Canada

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Watershed Management to Meet Water Quality Standards and Emerging TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Proceedings of the Third Conference 5-9 March 2005 (Atlanta, Georgia USA) Publication Date 5 March 2005  701P0105.(doi:10.13031/2013.18040)
Authors:   P. K. Goel, S. Clerk, A. Todd, and G. Kaltenecker

This paper presents preliminary results of a study being initiated by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Canada, to assess impacts of recently introduced Nutrient Management Act on water quality. Under this act, producers will have to adopt the specified nutrient management strategy and plan for manure management, and thus, storage and field application of nutrients. In the first phase of the program, new livestock operations (generating >5 nutrient units per year), and farms expanding into and/or within the large category (generating>300 nutrient units per year) on September 30, 2003 are covered. In the next phase, by 2005, existing large livestock producers will be covered. To study the impact of this program on water quality, both modeling and field monitoring approaches are being followed. Nine watersheds with extensive agricultural and livestock activities have been selected for detailed investigations. Biweekly data on water quality are being collected and efforts are underway to compile necessary field and other information to run a hydrological model. Collected water samples are analyzed for a number of water quality parameters. Details about prevailing land use and nutrient application techniques, and changes in farming practices which have resulted due to the Nutrient Management Act are being collected and compiled. Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrological model has been selected to model sediment and nutrient transport under the improved nutrient management and framing program. Details on the ongoing nutrient management program, approaches being followed to study the impact of the program, and results of modeling approaches will be presented and discussed in the paper

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