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BALANCING POINT SOURCE AND AGRICULTURAL CONTROLS IN THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER BASIN
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: 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:10.13031/2013.18050)
Authors: Theodore A.D. Slawecki, Timothy Bondelid, Andrew Stoddard
Keywords: Mississippi River Basin, point sources, nonpoint sources, policy support, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Farm Security and Rural Investment Act, TMDL, SWP
For the past thirty years or more, elevated levels of dissolved inorganic nitrogen delivered to the
Gulf of Mexico by the Mississippi River have contributed to the seasonal occurrence of an
extended hypoxic zone an area where marine life is threatened by oxygen depletion. These
elevated nitrogen levels are attributed to increased point and nonpoint sources, and to alterations
in the landscape and river channel that promote delivery instead of uptake and sequestration. In
this paper, we examine estimates of nitrogen loads in the Mississipi River Basin, look at some
simplistic load reduction scenarios, and discuss the difficulties in balancing different controls to