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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Midwest Water Quality Initiative: Research Experiences at Multiple Scales

Authors
item Hatfield, Jerry
item Bucks, Dale
item Horton, Maurice - USDA-CSREES

Submitted to: American Chemical Society Symposium Series
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 22, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Quality drinking water is a high priority for all Americans. Many of the contaminants that are found in surface water are associated with agricultural practices. However, there is a poor understanding of how different agricultural practices affect ground water or surface water quality across the United States. In 1990 a study began across the Midwest tto evaluate the impact of farming practices on water quality. This study involved the cooperation of federal, state, and local agencies and was conducted in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin by a number of different research and education specialists. The management of this scale of project is unique in terms of combining the efforts of several groups toward this common goal. The results of these efforts have shown why water quality problems exist within different areas of the United States. A coalition of research and education specialists have developed practices that can reduce the impact of farming practices on water quality. Adoption of these practices would lead to further improvements in water quality for drinking water supplies in the United States.

Technical Abstract: Increasing concern about the role of farming practices on water quality provided the impetus for a research, education, and extension program in the Midwest. This multi-agency and multi-disciplinary research program was directed to evaluate the effect of farming practices on water quality and to develop farming practices that could be adopted by producers. Projects were conducted in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Research studies addressed issues on degradation processes to water flow through the soil as a pesticide and nutrient transport mechanism. This combined effort has integrated many components, and the results have been successfully transferred to users across the Midwest. The results of these efforts demonstrate that it is possible to develop an integrated program that addresses issues on nonpoint source pollution.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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