Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Hydrology

Volume

343

Issue

3

Publication Date

9-20-2007

First Page

211

Last Page

229

DOI

10.1016/j.jhydrol.2007.06.016

Abstract

This paper presents and implements a framework for modeling the impact of land use practices and protection alternatives on nitrate pollution of groundwater in agricultural watersheds. The framework utilizes the national land cover database (NLCD) of the United State Geological Survey (USGS) grid and a geographic information system (GIS) to account for the spatial distribution of on-ground nitrogen sources and corresponding loadings. The framework employs a soil nitrogen dynamic model to estimate nitrate leaching to groundwater. These estimates were used in developing a groundwater nitrate fate and transport model. The framework considers both point and non-point sources of nitrogen across different land use classes. The methodology was applied for the Sumas–Blaine aquifer of Washington State, US, where heavy dairy industry and berry plantations are concentrated. Simulations were carried out using the developed framework to evaluate the overall impacts of current land use practices and the efficiency of proposed protection alternatives on nitrate pollution in the aquifer.

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