New USGS Circulars Examine Agricultural Impacts to Water Quality and Aquatic Ecosystems

five(June 12, 2018) - The US Geological Survey (USGS) released two circulars last week that look at the impact agriculture has on water resources and aquatic ecosystems. The reports, Circular 1433: Agriculture—A River Runs Through It—The Connections Between Agriculture and Water Quality and Circular 1437: Understanding the Influence of Nutrients on Stream Ecosystems in Agricultural Landscapes synthesize numerous and long-term scientific studies of agricultural areas and their impacts to water quality across the country.

Specifically, Circular 1433 examines how unique terrain, climate, soil types and water flow-paths not only influence agricultural practices, but also how these differences can greatly affect water quality. Circular 1437 summarizes various research studies on nutrients from agricultural practices and the impact on streams and rivers.

Congressionally established, the USGS’s National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program addresses where, when, why, and how water quality is changing, and assists in guiding policy and management decisions that will improve water quality.

NACWA often participates at NAWQA’s Annual Meeting—which, last Spring, focused on harmful algal blooms.  Members with additional questions can contact Emily Remmel, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.