Water Polution : Agricultural Water Pollution

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Agricultural Water Pollution
Water and food to life and civilization is an essential resource. Agriculture has been prosperous in producing high quantities of food. Although, agricultural production is a hazard to the quality of water. Agricultural chemicals have boosted the productivity of agriculture drastically. The chemicals used in fertilizers are rich in phosphorus, nitrogen, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. Runoff of these chemicals into surface waters or from infiltration into groundwater results in water pollution. Agricultural run-off contributes to poor water quality.
Land and water systems are closely linked. The hydrologic cycle accounts for this linkage and water is the carrier of materials between systems. Agriculture, as a land based industry, therefore is coupled directly to water systems both affecting and being affected by them. Chemicals applied to land may enter surface waters by overland flow or interflow. All pathways should be recognized, and control methods should consider transport mechanisms relevant to pollutants of concern. For example, soil erosion control will probably not reduce fertilizer nitrate entry to surface waters effectively, but could substantially limit total phosphorus loading to streams and lakes (Mateo-Sagasta). Land management practices that control the pathways and rates of flow of snowmelt, rainfall and irrigation water are integral to control of pollution from agricultural runoff.
Sediments, nutrients and pesticides are nonpoint source pollutants of concern in relation to agriculture. Sediment is both a carrier of other pollutants and a water pollutant. In streams it can degrade fish spawning gravels, reduce light penetration, increase biological productivity, reduce recreational values, increase water costs for industrial and domestic uses, and cause abrasion to pumping equipment. A primary pathway of phosphorus from land to water frequently has been shown to be overland transport in association with eroding. Pesticides and pathogens also can be carried to receiving waters attached to eroding sediments.
The accelerated eutrophication effects of nutrient runoff to receiving water hardly needs mentioning. Foul tastes and odors in drinking waters,

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