The Water Environment Federation (WEF) on March 6 joined the Healthy Waters Coalition, a diverse coalition of water-sector stakeholders, in announcing Farm Bill recommendations to improve water quality. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 50% of rivers, streams, and lakes and nearly 60% of bays and estuaries are nutrient-impaired. The dominant source of this impairment is agricultural runoff, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The coalition also drew information from Controlling Nutrient Loadings to U.S. Waterways: An Urban Perspective, a report prepared by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies with funding from WEF and the Turner Foundation. The report concludes that removing a pound of nitrogen or phosphorus from wastewater typically costs four to five times (sometimes up to 10 to 20 times) more than controlling nutrient runoff from farmland. For more information, check out EPA’s new website on nutrient pollution policy and data.
February 7, 2013
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