Agriculture is all about causes and effects on the environment, and some agricultural practices can have unintended consequences that damage the quality of our water resources. Land-grant university researchers have conducted studies, provided education, and lead outreach programs to improve awareness of water quality issues, but we need government agencies and nonprofit organizations to turn awareness into action.
The Multistate Research Project Catalysts for Water Resources Protection and Restoration: Applied Social Science Research explores farmers’ and communities’ motives for protecting water and how to use social science research to help improve the management of water resources. More than 15 schools were involved in the project, discovering exciting solutions such as these:
- Utah State University and Montana State University researchers discovered new information behind high nitrate levels in wells in central Montana. These insights allowed researchers to develop specific management solutions for the impacted wells that will improve their water quality.
- University of Minnesota researchers are finding ways to enhance civic engagement in storm water management programs, specifically in areas with poor storm water management. These programs are influencing the state’s storm water policies, which could reduce pollutants.
- Iowa State University is using its research to show agencies how reduce the amount of bad nutrients in the water. With their new, detailed management practices, the amount of chemicals in Iowa’s waters is being significantly reduced and the water quality is improving.
The schools listed above are just a few of the institutions that contributed to this nationwide project. To read more about the schools involved and their findings, click here.More From: Iowa State University, Montana State University, University of Minnesota, Utah State University
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