Year of Publication

2007

Document Type

Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Angelos Pagoulatos

Abstract

The water quality in the United States has greatly improved since the implementation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in the early 1970s. Unfortunately, the Clean Water Act only addresses one kind of water pollution, point source pollution. The major problem that is present in the degradation of todays water quality has to deal with nonpoint source pollution. Agriculture is commonly regarded as the leading contributor to nonpoint source pollution in the United States. This study uses two analytical tools to try to determine the significant factors in the transport of pollutants in the Lower Kentucky Watershed, located in central Kentucky. Spatial analysis (GIS) coupled with the statistical analysis (SAS), allowed for significant factors to be identified within a small proximity of sampling sites throughout the watershed. The results suggest that although agriculture is commonly regarded as the largest contributor to nonpoint source pollution, other factors outside of agriculture were also found to be significant, such as resident land use and rainfall. The results generated from this study suggest that land managers in communities throughout the watershed should analyze agricultural factors, as well as, factors outside of agriculture, in an effort to protect their communities water quality.

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