Recent years have seen a greater public concern about the quality of the nation's water resources. While initial concerns targeted point source pollution, the emphasis in recent years has shifted to non-point source pollution, including the effect of general practices used by fanners in agricultural production systems. Since there was no reliable data base on such effects for Kentucky, the state's General Assembly passed legislation during its 1990 session directing the University ofKentucky's College of Agriculture (UK.CA) to assess the effect of agricultural practices on quality of the state's waters. As part of the efforts undertaken by the UKCA in this regard, an assessment was made of water sources in major agricultural areas to determine the current level of water quality associated with agricultural practices in those areas. This information was needed to evaluate the question of concern: "Do nonpoint agricultural practices such as fertilizer and herbicide use and grazing of pastures by livestock pose a threat to the quality of water potentially serving as human drinking water sources?"

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