Assessing nonpoint source pollution in the vadose zone



Sustainable agriculture is viewed as the only viable means of meeting the food demands of the world's projected population of 11 billion by the year 2050. Sustainable agriculture is predicated on a delicate balance of maximizing crop productivity and maintaining economic stability while minimizing the use of finite natural resources and avoiding the detrimental environmental impacts of associated nonpoint source (NPS) pollutants. NPS pollutants include pesticides, fertilizers, trace elements, salts, sediments, etc., and are known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic. NPS pollutants threaten sustainable agriculture and are recognized as the single greatest threat to surface and subsurface drinking water resources.