Problem, Solution and Barrier Paper

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Remediating Agricultural Water Contamination: Problem, Solution, and Barriers Paper Student Name COMM 2367 MWF 9:10 Instructor Name September 29, 2012

REMIEDIATING AGRICULTURAL WATER CONTAMINATION Remediating Agricultural Water Contamination: Problem, Solution, and Barriers Paper Problem Concerns about water pollution are generally focused towards sources that are highly visible and chemically oriented. However, the greatest causes of water contamination and quantity abuse in the United States come from agricultural production (United States Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], 2012a), which is defined as a nonpoint source that pollutes with nutrients. In 2011, nine of the top ten corn and soybean producing states were located in the


Midwest (United States Census Bureau, 2012), making this region the largest agricultural region by volume produced in the U.S., and thus prone to environmental problems with alarming consequences. In order to meet production demands while bound by constrained budgets, farmers often turn to unsustainable practices to ensure a yield. These include irrigating their fields with groundwater (the water from natural basins underneath the ground), applying excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus as fertilizer, and plowing the land in a way that reduces quality of soil structure (United States EPA, 2012b). All of these factors directly result in the rapid depletion of water resources in the Midwest, and the toxic nutrient pollution of surface waters such as lakes, rivers, and streams (United States EPA, 2012c). Entire freshwater ecosystems are being literally suffocated by nutrients, such as Phosphorus, which support the growth of toxin emitting harmful cyanobacteria algae (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDCP], 2012). This alga depletes waters of…...

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