Submitted to: Mississippi Water Resources Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Analysis of the water quality literature indicates that not all expectations of the 1972 Clean Water Act have been realized. One reason for failure to achieve these expectations has been the lack of scientifically sound water quality research studies on a watershed basis to document changes in water quality due to the implementation of best management practices. The Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Area (MSEA) Project is designed to meet these needs by providing for an evaluation of best management practices and their effect not only on water quality, but also on the ecological health of small Delta oxbow lake watersheds. The results of this study should fulfill present, and also future demands as might be made by further re-authorizations of the Clean Water Act.
Technical Abstract: Some 20 years after the passage of the 1972 Clean Water Act an assessment of water quality improvements remains elusive and inconclusive. Assessment of water quality changes under conditions of nonpoint sources of pollution has proven to be difficult. In fact, lack of monitoring data has been identified as being a significant impediment in federal, state, and local efforts to control nonpoint source pollution. Very few creditable data sets are now available that identify/quantify the impact of nonpoint pollution or the effectiveness of control solutions. This is particularly true on a watershed basis. In cooperation with Mississippi Delta farmers, landowners, and people, and in partnership with federal, state, and local agencies, it is hoped that such a quality data set will be developed from the Mississippi Delta MSEA (Management Systems Evaluation Area) Project. Furthermore, this research, accomplished under southern climatic conditions, will assess the extent and nature of agricultural activities on the quality of surface and ground water, increase the knowledge to design and evaluate water quality Best Management Practices, and develop educational and public awareness programs to reduce agricultural contamination of surface and ground water in the Mississippi Delta.