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

Citation:  Pp. 26-32 in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Environmental Regulations: Proceedings of the March 11-13, 2002 Conference, (Fort Worth, Texas, USA)  701P0102.(doi:10.13031/2013.7525)
Authors:   Thomas E. Davenport, Lyn Kirschner
Keywords:   Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), agricultural nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, landscape approach

States report that about 40 percent of the waters they assessed, do not meet water quality goals. About half of the nation's more than 2,000 major water bodies have serious or moderate water quality problems. There are a multitude of anthropogenic sources of sediment that are likely to enter and degrade our nation's water resources. Agriculture in its several forms is by far the largest generator of pollutants. The present approach of addressing agricultural pollutant sources on a site-by-site basis has not been totally effective and in a number of cases has resulted in further degradation downstream. Most programs used to control agricultural nonpoint source pollution are modeled after the traditional agricultural stewardship efforts that focus on infield best management practices based on a land managers interest and operational constraints. An approach that integrates the spatial juxtaposition and dynamic interaction between potential pollutant generation and movement with agricultural management is needed to comprehensively addressing water quality concerns. This approach must include a combination of activities that promote the prevention, mitigation and treatment of agricultural pollution. To enhance the effectiveness of the landscape approach a new way to prioritize areas within the landscape needs to be adopted that is based upon site-specific conditions and takes in to account the potential for causing off-site impacts. Utilizing the landscape approach and this new prioritization process together, we can focus available resources and implement effective strategies to solve agricultural related problems. This paper will a present a landscape approach to agricultural management on a watershed basis to implement an approved TMDL.

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