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item Williams, John

Submitted to: Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/25/2005
Publication Date: 4/5/2005
Citation: Williams, J.D., Koplin, D.W. 2005. Current topics in agricultural hydrology and water quality: Introduction. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 41(2): 243-244.X

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Current Topics in Agricultural Hydrology and Water Quality: Introduction John D. Williams and Dana W. Koplin1 The journal is pleased to present a select group of papers originally presented May 2003 in Kansas City MO at the AWRA Spring Specialty Conference - Agricultural Hydrology and Water Quality. When the organizers first conceived the idea of a specialty conference focused on agricultural hydrology, the intent was to bring together policy makers, specialists, and researchers from around the world who deal with the management of lands dedicated to agricultural production. The conference was a success, with 200 oral papers and posters presented, from 32 states and 9 countries. The papers presented here address a broad range of topics, not unusual for an industry that has evolved and grown exponentially in the last few decades. For example, commercial fertilizers and pesticides have increased production and reduced labor, but they also appear in increasing frequency and concentration in associated water bodies. Industrial-scale confined animal feeding operations are replacing animal production on small farms and ranches, concentrating formally non-point sources of animal waste and pharmaceuticals. The papers in this issue of JAWRA identify some of these problems, and provide some insight into how problems such as these can be solved. Dr. Brian Haggard and co-authors representing three USDA-ARS laboratories and the University of Arkansas report results from a rainfall simulation experiment to evaluate management of poultry litters to reduce runoff of nutrients and xenobiotics found in poultry litters (on page ##). Based on the author's findings, producers can reduce concentrations of phosphorus and ß17-estradiol by treating the pelleted litter with alum. Professor Kathleen Miller with the research staff of the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, on page ##, reports on the imazamethabenz-methyl, (U.S. trade name Assert®), contamination of an aquifer used for drinking water by three public water supplies and more than 400 private wells in Montana. The contamination has been traced to irrigation practices in the area. After examining three commonly used irrigation techniques, the author reports that the degree of Assert contamination is controlled by: (1) hydraulic loading rates of each irrigation method, (2) Assert persistence in soil, (3) hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer, and (4) adsorption/desorption of Assert onto clay particles and organic matter. Co-authors Dr. Alan Stueber, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois, and Dr. Robert Criss, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, on page ##, show the relative contributions of karst groundwater and treated wasted water to water quality in a small Illinois stream. Although the karst water dominates stream flow 11:1, the wastewater originating from outside the small stream contributes the majority of Na, K, Cl, NO_3, F, P, and atrazine found in the stream. On page ##, Dr. Doug Boyer, USDA-ARS Beaver, West Virginia, evaluates the success of the President of the United States Initiative for Water Quality and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) management of grazing systems on the quality of water flowing into karst systems. These results demonstrate the difficulty in identifying and treating non-point sources of water pollution while at the same time trying to meet other landuse objectives. Although the author presents evidence that highly focused grazing prescriptions might improve forage production on a farm, the end result might just as likely result in increased contamination of surface water draining into the underlying karst aquatic system. Christopher Blattel and co-authors, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, page ##, evaluate the capacity of native giant cane and hardwood riparian forest buf