Agricultural Nonpoint Source Control Program for Lake Erie

by Stephen M. Yaksich, US Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo, NY, USA,
John R. Adams, US Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo, NY, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Development and Management Aspects of Irrigation and Drainage Systems


Congress mandated (PL 92-500, Sec. 108d and 108e) that the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers design and develop a program for the rehabilitation and environmental repair of Lake Erie. The Corps' Lake Erie Wastewater Management Study (LEWMS) identified phosphorus as the nutrient most limiting the extent of eutrophication in Lake Erie, and showed that the rural (primarily agricultural) diffuse phosphorus load would have to be reduced by about 26 percent to significantly reduce Lake Erie eutrophication. This paper details how accelerated implementation of conservation tillage (including no till) on soils suited to these practices in the U. S. Lake Erie Basin can achieve the required reductions in the diffuse phosphorus load. Rates of adoption of conservation tillage (and concurrent reductions in the diffuse P load) by U. S. Lake Erie Basin farmers under existing conditions and with a program for accelerated implementation are presented.

Subject Headings: Lakes | Agricultural wastes | Phosphorus | Nutrient pollution | Eutrophication | Load factors | Water conservation | Diffusion (porous media) | Lake Erie | Great Lakes

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