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Best Management Practices for Water Resources

Water Resource Development and Management

  1. Mohammad N. Almasri1,
  2. Jagath J. Kaluarachchi2

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.wr5

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Almasri, M. N. and Kaluarachchi, J. J. 2005. Best Management Practices for Water Resources. Water Encyclopedia. 2:570–574.

Author Information

  1. 1

    An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine

  2. 2

    Utah State University, Logan, Utah

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

Abstract

There is growing consciousness that water resources are susceptible to contamination from domestic, industrial, and agricultural wastes. The quality of water has become a major issue since the detection of many hazardous-waste sites in the late 1970s. Sources of water contamination are widespread and include accidental spills, landfills, storage tanks, pipelines, agricultural activities, and many other sources. Of these sources, agriculture-related activities produce nonpoint source pollution in small to large watersheds, especially due to nitrogen in fertilizers and various carcinogenic substances found in pesticides. Best management practices (BMPs) developed to protect the quality of water resources in agriculturally dominated areas are improvements in agricultural practices and land use patterns. Improving agricultural practices focuses on tillage practices, crop rotation, rational fertilizer and manure applications and timing, vegetation cover, and irrigation management. Land use changes include reevaluation of land use distribution and changes in the land use in areas that are vulnerable to contamination. BMPs for water resources are affordable, practical, and effective methods for minimizing the movement of contaminants from the ground surface to groundwater or surface waterbodies. BMPs assure sustainable use of water resources while minimizing the economic and social negative consequences. Due to its high mobility, nitrate is the primary nitrogen species lost from soils by leaching. Groundwater contamination by nitrate has been confirmed all over the world. Agricultural activities are the main source of nitrate pollution of groundwater resources. This study focuses on the development of BMPs to protect groundwater resources from nitrate pollution due to agriculture.

Keywords:

  • best management practices;
  • groundwater;
  • water resources;
  • nitrate;
  • pollution;
  • contamination;
  • maximum contaminant level;
  • agriculture;
  • fertilizer;
  • point sources;
  • nonpoint sources;
  • nitrogen;
  • manure;
  • leaching