Submitted to: Annual Water Resources Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2005
Publication Date: 10/25/2005
Citation: Montgomery, B., Williams, B., Sirucek, D., Olsen, B., Russelle, M.P., Rosen, C. 2005. Integrated solutions for protecting public water supplies in agricultural communities [abstract]. Minnesota Water 2005 and Annual Water Resources Joint Conference, October 25-26, 2005, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. p. 35. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Many rural communities are facing the challenge of elevated nitrate concentrations in their public water supplies. In Minnesota, 10 to 15 communities have significant nitrate problems and as a response strategy, suppliers will frequently install deeper wells, drill additional wells for blending purposes, install nitrate removal systems, or take other actions to avoid exceeding the 10 mg/L NO3-N Health Standard. Although local communities are effective at developing short-term solutions, considerable planning, implementation, and science-based decisions need to be conducted to ensure high-quality water for future generations. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture, with support from many different cooperators, has actively assisted a number of agricultural communities by working with area farmers and agribusinesses. This presentation will feature the alliances and examples of "win-win" solutions developed with a variety of public water suppliers found in different agroecoregions. Solutions are unique to each location but commonly include a blend of the following strategies: federal cost-sharing on nutrient management planning and set-aside acres through CRP; introducing modified cropping rotations in vulnerable locations; promoting BMPs and university fertilizer recommendations; new technology; and alternative land use decisions.