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Chapter 2: Water Quality

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

Citation:  Pages 9-30 (doi:10.13031/swce.2013.2) in Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, 7th Edition . Copyright 2013 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Mich.
Authors:   Rodney L. Huffman, Delmar D. Fangmeier, William J. Elliot, Stephen R. Workman
Keywords:   Soil, water, conservation, environment, Water Quality Issues, 2.1 Trophic States, 2.2 Dissolved Oxygen, 2.3 Contaminant Sources, Biological Contaminants, 2.4 Protozoa, 2.5 Bacteria, 2.6 Viruses, Chemical Contaminants, 2.7 Concentration Units, Examp

Introductory paragraphs: Water is a primary component of the biosphere. The ability of the biosphere to support life as well as the health and enjoyment of that life depends on water quality. Adequate supplies of clean water are vital for agriculture, domestic use, recreation, wildlife, and thousands of manufacturing and mining processes. As competition for water grows, wise management and protection of that resource becomes increasingly important.

Historically, the primary objective of agricultural development has been production, i.e., maximizing arability and yields. Where production was the primary objective, environmental quality often suffered. Declines in natural habitat have spurred major changes in engineering and production practices. Environmental quality objectives now play a major role in development of designs and management strategies. Agriculture, forestry, construction, and other types of development are subject to federal and local regulations regarding water use, flow management, and associated transport of contaminants.

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