Friday, February 13, 2009

The Clean Water Act and Nonpoint Source Pollution: Implications for Agriculture

Over the past few decades there has been a significant increase in litigation surrounding western water resources, including Nevada's watersheds. Agriculture has been named as a defendant in several cases. Those involved in agriculture need to acknowledge that water, a primary input in the production process, has become a highly valued and increasingly scarce resource. And, federal legislation prioritizes the improvement and protection of water quality involving water resources nationwide. Farmers and ranchers must understand water issues surrounding agricultural activities and social concerns involving water bodies located near their operations. The first step in accomplishing this level of awareness is to understand federal and state laws regulating water quality, implementation of laws and pollutants identified as harmful to water bodies. This fact sheet explains the provisions outlined in the Clean Water Act that specifically address nonpoint source pollution and implications for agriculture...Reno Gazette-Journal

1 comment:

Peter Maier said...

Because of the horrendous use of synthesized fertilizer, farmers should apply any solution that reduces its use. BUT would it do any good as long as cities are allowed to use rivers as urinals, since EPA does not consider nitrogenous (urine and protein) was a pollutant. The reason? Simple, but also very embarrassing! EPA, like the rest of the world, used an essential pollution test incorrect and the pollution (now called nutrients) caused by nitrogenous (urine and protein) waste is ignored, while nitrogenous (urine and proteins) waste like fecal waste exerts an oxygen demand, but in all its forms is a nutrient (fertilizer) for algae and aquatic plants. In 1984 EPA acknowledge the problems with this test, but in stead of correcting this test (so we finally would be able to evaluate the true performance of such facilities and determine what their effluent waste loading on open waters would be), EPA allowed an alternative test and officially lowered the goal of the CWA from 100% treatment to a measly 35% treatment, without even informing Congress, as apparently the media also did not understand what was going on. But who cares, this is a technical issue and for that you have to trust the experts, who clearly in this case prefer the status quo. If you like to know more you can visit my website and in the Technical PDF section read a description of the BOD test and the consequences if you apply the test as still is applied.