United States
              Environmental Protection
              Office of Water
              Regulations and Standards
              Washington, DC 20460
May 1987
The Key to
Nonpoint Source  Control

             TARGETING: The Key to Nonpoint Source Control

                    R.P.  Maas—N.C.  State University
                   M.D.  Smolen—N.C.  State University
                  C.A.  Jamieson--N.C.  State University
                A.C.  Weinberg—EPA Nonpoint Sources Branch
                     Final Report for the Project:
"Guidance Document on Economic Targeting of  NFS  Implementation Programs
                    to Achieve Water Quality Goals"
                  Cooperative Agreement  CR813100-01-0
           Kenneth Adler                     Dr. Frank J.  Humenik
  Economic and Regulatory Analysis       North Carolina Agricultural
             Division                          Extension  Service
    Office of Policy, Planning           Biological  and Agricultural
          and Evaluation                    Engineering Department
          Washington, DC                          Raleigh,  NC
                                May 1987


The contents and views expressed in this  document are those of  the  authors and
do not necessarily represent the policies  or  positions of the North Carolina
State Agricultural Extension Service  or the United  States  Environmental
Protection Agency.

This document  is  based, in part,  on  an earlier document entitled, "Designing A
Watershed-Based  Nonpoint  Source  Implementation  Program," developed under the
direction of Karen Shafer.

The  authors would  like  to thank EPA  personnel Richard Kashmanian,  Tom
Davenport, Bob Thronson, and John Mancini for  their review and comments.

The  authors would  like  to express appreciation to Len Stanley and Sarah
Brichford for extensive  editing and Terri Hocutt for word processing.  The
cover design is  by Diane Probst.

    In 1983,  6 of the  10  EPA  regions identified nonpoint  source  (NFS) pollu-
tion as their  primary obstacle to realizing the objectives of the Clean Water
Act.  They attributed this, in part,  to  progress in point source  control
during the previous  10  years, but also to a lack of progress in NFS pollution
control.  While point source control  has  matured, NFS control has been ne-
glected, with  very limited funding, relatively  little research attention, and
no federal regulatory authority.   Although the  1972 Clean Water Act provided
states with money  to develop plans for both point  and NFS  pollution control
(under section 208), until  passage of the Water Quality Act  of  1987 there was
no provision  to implement  the NFS components of  these plans.

    The targeted  approach, recommended here,  focuses NFS implementation ef-
forts to  limited areas with the  objective  of  obtaining  visible  achievements.
This recommendation  differs  drastically from the more  traditional approach in
which program resources are made available to  qualifying participants  on an
equal basis throughout the state.  Although the latter  approach is politically
expedient and  may achieve a great deal of NFS pollution control, its potential
for producing any detectable change  in a water  resource  within  a  25-year
period is quite low.  The  targeted approach, on the other hand, by concentra-
ting pollution control efforts and applying all project resources to  clearly
specified goals and objectives can produce results in a reasonably  short
period, such as 5  to 10 years.

    As of 1987, most states have recognized the  need to treat NFS pollution to
protect their high  priority water resources,  and  many states are initiating
programs to treat  NFS  pollution  from agricultural, urban,  and suburban  areas.
This document  attempts to aid these developing NFS control  programs by drawing
from about 15 years experience in  water  quality projects including the Rural
Clean Water  Program,  the Model Implementation Program, and water  quality
demonstration  projects  funded  in the Great  Lakes Basin. While the concept of
targeting applies to all  types of nonpoint sources, the  emphasis  in this
document is primarily  on agricultural nonpoint source control.

    This document was written prior to passage of the Water Quality Act of
1987,  and therefore, does  not specifically  address the NFS provisions of this
Act.  The  Water Quality Act of 1987,   in section 319, requires  states to
develop programs to  manage nonpoint sources of  pollution. Section 319  specifi-
cally requires states  to  prepare, within 18 months  of enactment,  an assessment
report  of  their NFS problems and a management program for addressing NFS
problems in the next 4 fiscal years.  The  Act  authorizes $400 million over 4
years for  grants  to the states for implementation of approved management
programs.  Thus,  given this new mandate  in the Water Quality Act of 1987,
states have a new impetus to assess and prioritize their NFS problems and to
develop new NFS programs  and/or  refine existing programs.

                      TABLE  OF CONTENTS

      Why Target	1
      National and State Water Resource Priorities	2
      State and Watershed Level Targeting	2

      Interagency Commitments	5
      Coordination Among Agencies	5
      Quantitative and Measurable	5
      Timeframe	6
      Focus Resources	6
      Additional  Resources	7
      Criteria for Statewide Prioritization	7
        Degree and Type of Water Resource  Prob lem	8
        Economics	8
        PoliticsT	8
        Willingness and Capability of Participants	9
        Regulatory Authority	9
        Institutional  C ons tr aint s	9
      Examples of Statewide Water Resource Prioritization	9
         Maryland	9
         Pennsylvania	10
         Illinois	10
         Ohio	11
         Wisconsin	11
      Groundwater in Statewide Prioritization	12

      The Lead Agency	14
      The  Project Coordinator	14
      Establish Agency Roles	16
      Pollutant Loads Versus Concentrations	18
      Dynamics of the Impairment	19
      Attainability of Use	19
      Point Sources	20
      Nonpoint Sources	20
      Sources of  Information	20

   Quantitative, Measurable and Flexible	....--23
     Timeframe	77777777.	......23
   Examples of Project Level Goals and Objectives.	 -24
   General Considerations	„	......24
   Reliability of Estimation Techniques	- . •	25
      Point Sources	„ „	.......°••-•25
      Nonpoint Sources	...........25
      Point Versus Nonpoint Sources.....................................25
DETERMINE NONPOINT SOURCE CONTROL OPTIONS......................... ° .«••>• 26
   NPS Control Effectiveness	...............<>...= ..••« 26
      Construction	..26
      Urban	26
      Agricultural—	..26
   Landowner Acceptance.	.......28
   Financial Incentives	....28
   Ordinances for Sediment Control	...29
   Cost Sharing	 •..	29
   Information and Education Programs	.29
   Regulatory Options.	...... .............29
   Examples of Other Incentives/Inducements	........30
   Type and Severity of Water Resource Impairment	31
   Type of_ Pollutant	31
      Sediment	..31
      Nitrogen	.31
      Phosphorus	.......32
      Microbial Pathogens.	32
      Pesticides	...........32
   Source Magnitude	33
      Erosion Rate	33
      Manure Sources	34
      Fertilization Rate and Timing	
      Microbial Pathogen Sources.	......34
      Pesticide Usage Patterns	35
   Transport Considerations	35
      Distance to Nearest Watercourse	.....35
      Distance To The Impaired Water Resource	.37
   Other Selection Criteria	37
      Present Conservation Status.	37
      Planning Timeframe	38
      Designated High oi£ Low Priority Subbasin	38
      On-site Evaluation	38
   Develop Farm Level Ranking Procedure	 38
   Modify Implementation Plan on The Basis of_ Water Quality Monitoring..41
   Develop Contracts				41
   Monitor Land Treatment	41
   Water Quality Monitoring	42
   Socio-economic Impacts	42
   Analysis  of_ Water Quality Trends	42
   Format and Content of Project Reports	•.	43

                        LIST   OF   FIGURES
                         LIST   OF   TABLES
              INVENTORY	22
              SOURCES	26

     Targeting is a  straightforward concept—identify priority water resources
and treat  the  major sources of  pollutants  that impair those resources first.
However, variability in hydrological systems can complicate  the targeting
procedure.  This document is  a working  outline of the procedure and can
provide insight for state and local  decision-makers involved in developing,
administering and implementing NFS control programs.

     Many specific  recommendations  are listed but the  need for states and
localities to  be flexible in their NFS control efforts is recognized, too.  No
two water  resource problems,  state  agency  infrastructures  or watershed
landowners  will be exactly alike. Thus, program flexibility to  address a wide
range  of  environmental and socio-economic  factors  must be  anticipated.
Specific goals and objectives, however, remain the focal  point of NFS  control
programs to achieve  water quality improvements.

     The nation is at a critical juncture  in NFS control.  With  several years
of project experience  and research  now  complete, the ongoing process of
expanding NFS control  efforts nationwide lies ahead. Under the 1987 Clean
Water Act, states must now begin the formal process to bring state water
resource quality closer to the goals stated in the Water Pollution Control Act
of 1972.  This is an immense task which requires a sound perspective on how to
proceed.  Targeting  provides this perspective.
Targeting At The State Level

     1.  Establish water quality  authorities of different agencies. Define
        roles and responsibilities of each  participating agency. Appoint  one
        agency to coordinate the NFS  control program.

     2.  Set realistic program goals that will result  in  visible improvements
        in water quality for priority water resources. Goals should be  at-
        tainable with the available financial and staff resources and within
        a reasonable timeframe.

     3.   Assess  the  institutional  resources  and  capabilities of  all  agencies
         that will  be involved in the  program.  Focus agency resources  and
         expertise  on NFS  control efforts  that will  be most effective in
         achieving the stated program goals.

     4.   Establish a statewide water resource prioritization procedure to rank
         resources in priority for NFS  control  projects. Prioritization of
         water resources should be based on these.criteria: identifiable water
         resource problem that is controllable with treatment practices;  high
         probability of  successful treatment with the  available funding  and
         staff resources; and a high  public use value.
Targeting At  The Watershed Level

     1.   Define the institutional responsibilities and roles of all parti-
         cipating  agencies and  establish  one agency  as the  lead  agency
         responsible  for administering the project. Identify communication
         channels  through which the project will operate. Appoint one project
         coordinator to  manage the project.

     2.   Refine the  nature  of  the  water resource impairment identified
         during the statewide water resource prioritization  process. Determine
         how much  and  what  type of NFS reduction will be necessary to restore
         designated uses of  the resource.

     3.   Develop a watershed profile that will  serve as a  project data base,
         including an  inventory of nonpoint sources and point sources.

     4.   Establish water quality goals  and  objectives  for  each  phase of  the
         project.   Establish goals that  are  quantitative and  measurable with
         flexibility to accommodate  appropriate  modifications. Determine pol-
         lutant reduction  needed to  achieve water  quality goals.  Determine
         control  options including land  treatment, incentives for   landowner
         participation and  regulatory ordinances.

     5.   Assess methods for obtaining  landowner participation and implement
         those which are appropriate for the project area.
     6.  The selection process should be based on the  following  five criteria:
             1)   type  and severity of water resource impairment;
             2)   type  of pollutant;
             3)   source magnitude considerations;
             4)   transport considerations; and
             5)   project specific criteria.

    The procedure  for  selecting critical areas should follow farm level
    ranking of nonpoint sources.   Two figures are provided on pages 39
    and 40  as  examples of farm level ranking  for phosphorus and pesticide
    use to  identify sources of priority resource impairment.
7-   Carry  out  the BMP implementation and water quality monitoring  program
    in such a  way that impacts  of  treatment on water quality are docu-
    mented   from the start.
    Maintain clear and accurate records of reporting,  accounting and
    evaluation procedures  throughout  the  project's life.   A sample pro-
    ject  report outline is listed in Appendix A.

 Chapter  One
    This document presents guidelines  and suggestions  for designing  and imple-
menting  a  targeted nonpoint  source (NFS)  pollution control program  to achieve
improvements  in water quality.  Our theme is that a state's NFS control effort
should be coordinated  and  directed to focus resources on clearly  specified,
realistic  goals  and  objectives.  Focusing program  resources,  or "targeting,"
is recommended as a means of optimizing the visible water quality improvement,
thereby  generating public support and participation  for  water  quality  pro-
tection programs.

    Targeting should occur  at  all levels of a state  program.   The  state pro-
gram should select and target priority areas in coordination with national and
regional  goals.  Within priority areas, the program  should target water bodies
that are likely to improve in  quality as a result of NFS control treatment.
Finally, within  the targeted watershed, individual farms and fields should be
targeted to optimize pollution  reduction.
Why Target
    Although high  quality water resources  are important to the  economic wel-
fare of a state and are valued by the public,  there are not enough public
funds to address  all the significant water pollution sources that presently
exist.  Nor is this  situation likely to change.  Analysis  of  one of the
earliest water quality demonstration  projects, the Black Creek project in
Indiana (35),  showed that nearly $1 million in cost share funding was not
sufficient to address all the pollution problems in a 10,000 acre agricultural
watershed.   The answer,  suggested by  the Black Creek project and reaffirmed in
the Rural  Clean Water Program (RCWP), is targeting.

    The concept of  targeting  assumes  that  focusing  state  resources to a
limited geographic region  improves the  chance  of achieving visible water
quality improvement.  Further,  it assumes that as  a result  of  demonstrating
water quality  benefits  the public  will  become more  supportive of  NFS control
programs and more closely  attuned  to  overall  water quality goals. Such a
change  of attitudes with  a corresponding  increase in pollution  control
knowledge  and  skill is  the  primary ingredient of lasting water  resource pro-

National and State Water Resource Priorities

    Before a state begins  to target its nonpoint source problems,  it  should
consider any recognized national, regional, or interstate priorities. For
instance, restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, international  treaties  concerning
the Great Lakes, and the quality of the Ohio River are clearly stated high
priority water  resource  concerns  shared by  several  government entities. Co-
ordination  among these entities  is essential to achieve water quality improve-
ments in shared water resources.   Thus, for example,  states in the drainage of
the Chesapeake Bay are working under a cooperative agreement to reduce NFS
loading to  the  Bay.

    A state should consider the impact of treating one resource  and affecting
another.  For example,  there should be an initial decision  between targeting
surface water versus   groundwater,  streams  versus downstream  lakes or reser-
voirs, or upstream lakes or reservoirs  versus  estuaries.

State and Watershed Level Targeting

    State  level  targeting refers to prioritization of water resources for
treatment.   This process is a ranking of  resources according  to specific
criteria which are indicators  of a high probability  of NFS project success.
Success is  important  for building  public support  and  individual responsibility
for pollution control.

    Once the priority water bodies have  been  identified,  the  project can
determine  whether or  not  available resources  are sufficient  to  implement
enough pollution control to achieve the water quality objectives.  If resources
are  not  sufficient,  the prioritizing procedure can be  repeated  to  target
subwatersheds with definable water quality  problems  that can be solved.

    Targeting at the watershed level involves identifying the predominant
pollutant  sources,  prioritizing these sources and treating first  those criti-
cal  areas  that contribute the most to the  designated water  resource  impair-
ment.   A targeting  program designed  to  treat  the major sources  first can
substantially expedite the achievement  of water quality goals.

     Three major steps are involved in determining  how to control nonpoint
sources of pollution.  First,   a careful analysis  of  institutional  resources
and capabilities should ensure  that program goals  are achievable.  Next, pri-
ority  areas  must be chosen where implementation efforts will be focused.
Finally,  an  implementation strategy which considers site-specific factors
should be designed for  each priority area.

    Nonpoint  source  pollution control  requires  the expertise and cooperation
of diverse agencies and organizations.  National  agencies can bring external
funding, related  experience from similar projects, and other benefits to state

NFS projects. Where possible,  appropriate regional agencies should be involved
because  the water resources of a state are seldom independent of those in
neighboring states,  and interstate cooperation can benefit  all participants.
Local agencies and organizations  are  essential  because they provide the com-
mitment  and implementation effort that determines ultimate success or failure.

    Water quality agencies,  primarily at the state level are  recommended as
the most  appropriate coordinators  because their mission generally overlaps
most environmental interests  and  is  usually  closest to the  water quality ob-
jectives of the  project.   Assistance  and  input from other environmental
agencies or organizations,  too,  is valuable.   Agencies  or  organizations re-
presenting agriculture,  forestry, mining, urban  and  suburban sedime.nt control,
stormwater management,  and water  resource planning should participate.
Agencies or organizations involved in planning or management of recreation can
play an important part  in planning, justifying,  and evaluating the  success of
a pollution control project.

    Once institutional  capabilities  have been  determined, a select number of
areas should  be targeted and site-specific NFS implementation  strategies
developed. The selection of NFS priority watersheds should  be  part of a Con-
tinuous Planning Process as  mandated in section 303 of the Clean Water Act.
This is described in detail  in  40 CFR 130 - the Water Quality Planning and
Management Regulations.

    States may  also choose  to select  areas with groundwater  problems for
development of site-specific  NFS implementation strategies.  EPA is currently
developing guidance  for  classifying groundwater. This  guidance will assist
states in determining  which  groundwater  areas should be  targeted for further
NFS control.

Chapter  Two
    Priority areas designated  for  treatment to improve water  quality  may  be
selected for different  geographic  scales:  regional  (e.g., Chesapeake Bay and
the Great Lakes  area), watershed (e.g.,  James River), subwatershed  (e.g.,
Appomattox River), and farm levels.  The area covered in each of these  levels
may vary considerably from a small  section of a watershed to  basins of several
mil lion acres.

    At  the  state  level, water resources should be prioritized to achieve  an
optimal distribution of  efforts and funds.  The development  of  a procedure  to
prioritize state water resources should consider  several factors, including:
 1) concerns and interests of participating agencies,   2) establishment   of
realistic goals,  3) resources and capabilities of institutions; and  4)
criteria such as  water  quality problems,  economic  factors, political  con-
siderations, and  cooperation.  This chapter  describes methods for establishing
a  statewide water resource  prioritization  (WRP)  program based  on  these
    It is critical when establishing a state WRP program  to determine  clearly
which agencies have the authority to perform certain tasks.  Without defi-
nition  of authority, replication of efforts, conflicts between agencies
and/or omission  of  tasks  could  occur, thereby  reducing  the effectiveness  of
the  program.

    All appropriate  agencies should be encouraged to  contribute to a WRP
program. The state should  draw on federal, regional,  state, county,  and local
agencies to the extent possible.  Because the causes and impacts of water
quality problems are diverse, a wide selection of agencies should be involved.
Appropriate state agencies may include those  with interests in  1) water
resource planning,  2) natural resource protection,   3) land use planning,   4)
point source  regulation,  5) agriculture, mining,  construction,  6) economic
evaluation, and  7) health and welfare.

jirtgragency Commitments

    Multiple levels of commitment from some agencies may be necessary.   Parti-
cipating  state and federal agencies should pass authority to complete  project
tasks to their local counterparts once a watershed is selected.    For example,
the state office of the Soil Conservation Service may be involved in selecting
priority areas,  and county personnel should be given authority  to conduct the
implementation  of  treatment within the  selected  priority  areas.  Multiple
levels of commitment by different agencies allow efficient collection of data,
formulation  of  plans and utilization of limited staff  resources.  Involving
different agencies will generate broad support in the selected priority areas.

Coo rdination Among Agencies

    Because several agencies will be involved, coordination among the agencies
is essential.  Together, agencies should determine the role each will  fulfill
such  as data collection,  technical assistance,  financial  management,  edu-
cational assistance,  enforcement of regulations,  program development and im-
plementation.   It is recommended that one state agency be accountable for all
aspects of the WRP program.   This does not mean that only one agency partici-
pates in the program activities; rather, one agency is responsible for coordi-
nating  the  activities  of  the  many agencies  that  have  WRP  program  re-
sponsibilities.  Appropriate and clearly stated authorities should give a firm
foundation to a WRP program.
                         SET REALISTIC PROGRAM GOALS
    Once  a  network of agencies has been established and  agency  commitments
have  been  specified,  program goals should be developed.   Goals  should  be
clearly  stated to the extent possible in quantitative,  measurable  terms  so
that  progress  and accomplishments can be assessed.   Flexibility  should  be
allowed  so that individual projects within the program can modify their goals
as knowledge of the dynamics of their water resource problem is obtained.

Quantit ative and Measurable

    Quantitative  goals may be based on water pollution  standards,  pollutant
concentrations and/or loadings,  restoring biological resources, or the amount
of land or sources treated.  For example, a quantitative goal would be to meet
state  standards  for a designated use,  such as the  maximum  fecal  coliform
concentrations  and  frequency of exceedance allowed for shellfishing  waters.
On the other hand,  a goal for a specific project could be to achieve a stated
average  condition,  such  as concentration of nitrate  nitrogen  (N),   or  to
achieve  a  loading reduction,  such as for sediment or  phosphorus.       Many
nutrient  and sediment control projects focus on achieving a  certain  percent
reduction  in concentrations and/or loadings.   Such goals should be based  on
the estimated magnitude of reduction necessary to achieve a perceptible change
in  water  quality.  Progress toward these quantifiable goals can be  measured
through achievement of operational goals expressed in conventional land treat-
ment terms.   For example,  operational goals may be to treat a specified per-
centage of targeted cropland with conservation tillage or number of identified

animal operations with barnyard runoff controls.   Operational goals provide a
framework  for accounting on-the-ground project  implementation.  These  goals
should  be  very  specific,  distinguishing treatment of critical  areas  from
general conservation needs.

    Interim goals  can be developed for phases of the project.  These  project
goals  should correspond with the time required to complete various activities
and should anticipate the response time of the water resource.

    In establishing program or project goals, the timeframe for implementation
and water resource  response should be considered.   Some water resource prob-
lems respond quickly to intensive treatment,  whereas others require extensive
treatment and involve long response times.   Likewise,  certain types of water
resources  respond rapidly to treatment.   For example,   a first order  stream
would respond more quickly than a lake (2).

     There are two timeframes to consider in establishing realistic goals:   1)
the time in which water resources can actually improve to the desired level  in
a physical,  chemical,  biological,  or aesthetic sense, and   2) the time  re-
quired  to  document the water resource improvement  through  monitoring.   The
latter  consideration achieves accountability but places more  constraints   on
the  project,  because it requires a monitoring timeframe that includes  a pre-
treatment period,  an implementation period,  and a post-treatment period.   As
illustrated by the Model Implementation Program, too often in NPS projects  the
time  allowed  for observing water resource  benefits does  not  realistically
consider start-up periods,  pre-implementat ion water quality data needs, Best
Management Practice (BMP) implementation stages, and the responsiveness  of  the
water resource (3).
Focus Resources

    A  key to developing a successful NFS implementation program is   to   focus
efforts  on only as many water resources as can be adequately treated with the
financial and technical support available.  Spreading implementation funds too
thinly reduces the chance of obtaining any observable impact on water resource
quality.   First, the treated water resources will not respond sufficiently to
restore impaired uses,  and, second, public and legislative enthusiasm for NPS
implementation  will decline before the goals are achieved.  Demonstration  of
successful NPS control in a few intensive projects can be more effective  than
treating  a  large  area where water quality effects may take much  longer  to

    It  is important that water resource problems be assessed and  prioritized
before  state  level funding requests for implementation  are  made.  Ideally,
funding  decisions should be based on information from assessment of  economic
use impairments and the anticipated cost to alleviate the problems.    In  many
cases   doing  nothing  about an NPS impairment incurs tremendous cost to  the

economy of a state.  For example, closure of Oregon's Tillamook Bay to com-
mercial and recreational shellfishing by the Federal  Food  and Drug Adminis-
tration would have cost the  public more than $30 million in benefits over a
ten year period.  The cost of the Rural Clean Water Program (RCWP)  project to
clean up dairy  wastes was $6 million, considerably less than the benefits (4).

Additional Resources

    Intensified NFS control efforts within a particular watershed require
appropriate  fiscal authorizations  and  experienced technical  assistance
staffing.  Funds are needed  for information and education programs such as
field days, meetings, and one-to-one  contact and service programs, such as BMP
demonstrations,  pest  scouting and  soil  sampling  services. Such programs have
been helpful in obtaining participation in NFS  programs  and have aided in
reinforcing the proper  use  of implemented practices (5,6). To conduct these
information and education  or technical  assistance programs, projects  require
funds and personnel in proportion to the  size of watershed  and the intensity
of the programs.

    Expansion  of  NFS control efforts to include  additional watersheds,  too,
requires additional fiscal authorizations  to cover the  expanded work load.
Without additional  funds and staff, newly designated projects will  drain these
resources from  established  projects  and diminish  the  potential  for all pro-
jects to achieve   their goals.
Criteria for Statewide Prioritization

    Prioritization  of  state  water  resources  affected by NPSs  should  be  based
on the following three criteria:

     1) the water  resource  problem should be identifiable and controllable
        with treatment practices;

     2) treatment  should have a high probability of producing visible  water
        quality  improvements with the level of funding available;  and

     3) the water resource should have a  high public use value.

Priority for treatment should be given to those water resources which  meet  the
above  criteria.

    Probability of success is vital  to the  state's  ongoing  NFS  control
efforts. In order to achieve water quality  goals, NFS control must  become a
public concern with heightened individual  awareness  of  responsibility  for
resource stewardship.  Such  concern and  awareness will  develop  more easily
when a state program can demonstrate the  value of NFS control with examples of
successful projects which yield public benefits.

    Development of operational guidelines for identifying and selecting
priority areas  is  the  next  step  in the prioritization process.  There  are  five
general  categories of factors  which need to be considered when developing
these guidelines.

           1) degree and type of water  resource  problem
           2) economics
           3) politics
           4) willingness and capability of  participants
           5) institutional constraints

    Degree and Type of Water Resource Problem. Several  factors should  be
considered when  evaluating  a  water resource problem, including the degree and
sources of impairment, the  type  of water resource,  and the type of pollutant.
The severity of  existing problems, potential  for resource degradation, and the
estimated magnitude and distribution  of  pollutant  sources should also  be
examined.  Water quality  degradation could have many  causes,  and  it  is  often
not only a result of NPSs  but other pollution sources as well.  Water quality
problems  attributable to specific point sources often have  an  NFS  component
that must be treated. Therefore, some water resources require treatment  of
both point and nonpoint sources to meet the desired  level of water quality

    Once the severity  and sources of the problem have  been assessed,  treatment
feasibility should  be evaluated.  The  biological and physical  complexity  of
water resources may complicate  treatment selection. For  example,  areas  with
surface and  groundwater problems may  require  specifically  tailored approaches.
The type of pollutant may also dictate the type of treatment  needed to al-
leviate a particular water  quality problem.

    Economics. The  two main  economic factors  are costs  incurred due to use
impairment and  restoration  of the impaired  uses.   Benefits  from agricultural
NFS treatment  may be designated  as on- or off-site  as  well as short-  or  long-
term.   Recipients  of these  benefits  may  be  landowners  (e.g.,  farmers  or
property owners near water  bodies), communities  (e.g.,  consumers of public
drinking water  supplies and recreational opportunities),  or  commercial enter-
prises (e.g., fisheries or  recreation-based enterprises).  Part  of  the priori-
tizing process  should  include an assessment  of  the  water  resource use by  the
public  and  the  economic value  of this use. The  estimated amount  of funds
required to  implement  a  project  should  be  compared  to the estimated  benefits.
Attention should also  be given to the distribution  of these benefits among all
participants, including private  citizens, local  entrepreneurs,  and the local,
state or regional community.

    Politics.   Political  factors always influence the selection of  priority
water resources,  and  these factors must be incorporated in the process in a
way that strengthens the  program. Politically favored projects are  projects
which have outstanding interest  group  support.  These  projects may be used  to
showcase the entire  program.  Care must  be taken, however, to assure that such
projects meet the program's  technical  selection  criteria.  These projects
should not utilize  funds and personnel  in  excess  of  the shares committed  to
their level of priority within the entire program.

    Willingness and Capability of Participants.  Landowner participation is
essential for a  successful agricultural NFS control  program.  Most NFS control
projects have relied on  a voluntary  approach, usually  through  cost sharing
incentives.   Voluntary participation implies landowner  acceptance  of water
quality goals and a commitment to project objectives.  The voluntary approach,
however, has not always  been  successful.  Economic stress,  in particular,  has
been an obstacle.   An important  step in  program development is to examine  the
willingness  and  capability,  and economic  condition of  landowners and  local
agencies within  project  areas.

     Regulatory Authority.   The use  of regulation could  change the perspec-
tive of landowner participation. Two project areas within the RCWP have regu-
latory  authorities and  have  had extremely high  landowner participation (FL-
RCWP, OR-RCWP).  For example,  the existence of  regulatory authority,  although
not used at  the  present,  has greatly encouraged  the  voluntary participation in
the Florida  RCWP project.   Thus,  regulatory authority, if  available,  is likely
to increase  the  voluntary  cooperation of landowners.

    Institutional Constraints. Some final considerations  are the constraints
on agencies which may be involved  in  the NFS control program.  Though water
quality related, the mandate  of  some agencies may be quite rigid,  restricting
the ways in which these agencies can  participate in the state program. Con-
straints on time commitments and  staff availability will also affect the roles
of different agencies participating in the project.

Examples of  Statewide Water Resource Prioritization

    Various strategies have been utilized by states in the prioritization of
water resources.   Several states use screening  models to prioritize their
water resources,  whereas at  least one state, Illinois, has more of a local
grassroots  approach.  Five such selection processes are discussed here to
represent different approaches used  by  Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio,
and Wisconsin.

    Maryland. A rating  system where watersheds  are ranked and selected by
state agencies was developed  for prioritizing Maryland's watersheds  based on
agricultural  nonpoint sources of pollution  (7).  This procedure  was  developed
by a technical team established  by  the Maryland State  Soil Conservation Com-
mittee.   This committee,  in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Natu-
ral Resources and Office of Environmental Programs of the Department of Health
and Mental Hygiene, used this procedure to  prioritize the state's  watersheds.

    Separate rankings for potential,  not  measured, loadings of P and N were
developed for two  levels:    1)  the potential  loadings that  occur at the base
of each of the 124 watersheds; and   2) the potential loadings of each water-
shed into Chesapeake  Bay.

    A relatively straightforward set  of  criteria was used in  the  ranking
process, including the amount of agricultural  land,  percentage  of  such  land
on steep or  permeable soils,  use of conventional  versus conservation tillage,
and  potential P delivery  estimated on the basis  of fertilizer and manure
application rates and calculated delivery  rates.   The use of other  soil  con-
servation BMPs in addition to conservation tillage is not considered by this
classification scheme.

    One advantage of this ranking  system is that it does not require extensive
data collection. In fact, most of  the  necessary information could probably be
obtained from existing resource surveys.   Second,  the system allows screening
of all watersheds within the state with respect to their potential effects on
a regional water resource,  Chesapeake Bay.   The disadvantages are  that it does
not include a factor for  the sensitivity to impairment or quality  condition of
the water resources within each watershed.

    Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania's system for  prioritizing water resources is
similar  to Maryland's in that the system is initiated at  the state level by
the Department of Environmental Resources.  A departmental  task group of
experts in soils,  water quality, and agriculture has developed and implemented
a priority ranking  procedure using uniform criteria to assess  each watershed
within the state.   In contrast to the Maryland system,  Pennsylvania's criteria
consider the use of cropping practices,  site-specific factors (e.g.,  soil
erodibility and rainfall intensity), and an index representing the sensitivity
of lakes and impoundments within the watersheds (8).   Pennsylvania's  system
also includes  a factor representing the effects of acid mine drainage  as  well
as agricultural nonpoint  sources.  These factors were placed into a formula to
rank al 1  104 watersheds in the state.

    Pennsylvania's prioritization scheme was taken from their  section 208
plan. The use of  section 208 plans by other states  in the development of water
resource  prioritization  programs may  be  beneficial.  However,  since  the in-
itial  section  208  plans  were developed some time  ago,  these  plans  should be
reevaluated and updated.  Some section 208 plans may not be adequate due to
the  lack of  knowledge or emphasis  placed  on nonpoint  sources  when  the plans
were developed. Pennsylvania has a mechanism to update previously  ranked
watersheds using new information  on stream P-levels.  Such watersheds may
advance  in treatment  priority.

    Advantages of  Pennsylvania's approach  are  that  it considers more specific
information about the cropping  practices and also allows for consideration of
the quality  conditions of  the  lakes  and  impoundments.  For this very reason,
however, it requires more data and effort  to compile information and  calculate
the  ratings.

    Illinois. Unlike the  two  approaches described  above,  Illinois uses a
grassroots approach initiated  at the  local level  for prioritizing watersheds
in need  of agricultural  NFS treatment.  Watershed projects are identified at
the county level,  and reviewed, screened, and  prioritized at county, regional,
and two  state  levels (9).   Emphasis is placed on soil  erosion because it has
been identified as the most  severe NFS related problem.

    The primary level of authority for NFS  control involves county personnel,
including the  soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs).  Potential  pro-
jects based on an inventory of  critical areas are being  developed  by the SWCDs
along  with other local agencies.  If  a county  submits more than one  potential
project,  then it  must prioritize them.  The first review of submitted pro-
posals must  be done by a committee representing a region of the state.   The
regional  committee  reviews  potential  projects submitted from the counties in
its area, then prioritizes  the  proposed projects and passes them with rankings
and comments  to the State Watershed Priority  Committee. The state committee
may seek additional information from individual potential  projects  by direct
request to the counties.   It submits complete  plans to  the State Soil  Erosion


and Water Quality Advisory Committee,  the  fourth level of governmental review,
for final approval  of  the  resource prioritization and  recommendations.

    This  grassroots  approach  gives strength to the program  by  utilizing  the
people who  are most  familiar  with local water resources.   On the other hand,
only those  projects  submitted by the counties are  considered.  If a particular
county did not have personnel who were  ambitious enough to submit  plans,
critical  areas in that county would be overlooked.  In addition, counties that
can make themselves heard might  be given  preference, even if these counties
did not  actually  have water resources that merited priority program  funds.

    Ohio. Ohio utilizes a much more data intensive approach to water resource
prioritization.  In  addition   to   agricultural   NPSs,  the strategy considers
other sources of pollution (e.g., wastewater treatment, waste disposal,  and
other NPSs) and different uses of water resources  (e.g., public water sup-
plies, groundwater supplies,  and  recreational resources).  The strategy  uses  a
computerized  information system with nine maps or  layers  of  information.
Information from these nine maps   is  used by individuals  or  small  groups of
individuals within  various state  agencies to select independently watersheds
for treatment.  Emphasis  is  placed on restoration of water  bodies with  the
most  severe  degradation and  the need  for protecting  the most  valuable
resources.   Watersheds that are selected by  more  than one  group  are reviewed
by a policy team which formulates  the final prioritization.

    This method employs a sophisticated  data  analysis  system interpreted
through  professional judgment.   It emphasizes multiple  sources  of water pol-
lution and considers the uses of these water resources. The disadvantage of
such a system  is that it is expensive to develop the data  base.  However, once
the data base  has been developed,  it can easily be updated and maintained  and
has numerous other uses  for resource assessment  and planning.

    Wisconsin. The  State of Wisconsin has  designated its Department of Natural
Resources  (DNR) as  its lead NFS agency, and the DNR has developed a process
for ranking state priority areas.  The  DNR has ranked each of the state's  330
watersheds  according to  severity  of  land  management  and  water  quality prob-
lems. Watersheds generally overlap  two  to  three counties, including about
100,000  acres.  Priority  watersheds are   those where NPS problems  occur over
extended areas and  where major portions of  the  watersheds require  intensive
NPS controls.  Watershed  projects  address  agricultural as  well as urban prob-

    The selection  process for priority watershed  projects is  designed to
involve  local and  regional  interests  while  meeting  statewide  water quality
goals and objectives.  Accordingly, it is designed to  incorporate quantifiable
and nonquantifiable  criteria.

    The  primary selection criteria are: 1) the  severity of water quality  use
impairments;  2) the  practicability of alleviating the impairments; and  3)  the
threat to high quality,  recreationally valuable waters.   Secondary criteria
include:  1) the potential  to  achieve  a  significant reduction in the amount of
pollutants from the nonpoint sources in the watershed; 2) willingness  and
capability  of  counties,  cities, and villages in  the watershed to initiate the
project  within a  2  or  3  year  period;  3) likelihood  of owners  or operators   of
critical  nonpoint sources  to  participate in the  project;  and 4)  public  use of
the lakes,  streams,  and  groundwater  (10).


    The Wisconsin DNR uses a four step process to select priority watershed
projects.  The first  step  is  a technical  screening  to  identify  the  top  25% of
the watersheds with the  most  severe  land management  and  water quality prob-
lems. The screening is based on weighted land management and water quality
characteristics. Land management characteristics include the extent  of  severe
soil erosion, the extent  of urban land in the watershed, and the concentration
of animals in the watershed.  Water quality characteristics include the extent
of acreage in lakes  and  streams.

    The second step  involves  regional  review of  the  top  priority watersheds.
Regional  committees  review the watersheds in  their areas  and  each nominates
three watersheds  for  further  consideration.  This process  narrows  the  list to
about 30 eligible watersheds.    Regional committees may nominate  one  or more
"wild card" watersheds not on DNR's initial screening.   The "wild card" con-
cept assures that watersheds which have significant local merit  (e.g., high
public  use)  or unique problems  (e.g.,  groundwater  protection  needs)  are con-
sidered. The  review is based on the criteria listed above.

    The third step is review  by a state  level  committee consisting of  various
agency and interest groups.  This state committee narrows the list to 15 to 20
watersheds for inclusion  in a  selection  pool.

    The final step  is DNR's  selection  of priority watershed projects from the
selection pool.   Projects are selected annually by DNR in accordance with
available funds.  The first three  steps  in the  process  are  repeated  every 2 or
3 years.
Groundwater in Statewide  Prioritization

    Another factor affecting statewide  prioritization  of  NFS  problems  is  the
identification of groundwater recharge areas needing a high level of pro-
tection from nonpoint and other  pollutant sources.  According to a recent  EPA
report, nearly half of  the states  have developed or proposed groundwater
classification systems  (11). These systems are  being used by  states  to  set
priorities for groundwater  protection since such systems typically identify  a
range of  groundwater uses and the value attached to each use. Different uses
merit different levels of protection.   Certain decisions  regarding  facility
siting,  acceptable land management practices, and contamination  cleanups will
be based on these state classification systems.   State NFS programs should
integrate groundwater protection needs  in  any scheme for  prioritizing state
NFS problems.   A state's highest NFS  control  priority may be to protect  one of
its sole source aquifers  for public  drinking water supplies.

   The 1986 Amendments to the Safe Drinking  Water Act  (SDWA)  established  two
new programs  which will affect state  efforts to  protect groundwater from
nonpoint and other sources of pollutants. Specifically,  the Amendments created
the Sole  Source Aquifer Demonstration  Program to  protect critical portions of
designated aquifers and the Wellhead  Protection  Program to protect areas
around wells  supplying public  drinking  water systems.  These two new programs
will  provide  resources for planning and implementation,  and  therefore, will
affect state  NFS  control activities.   Presumably, some NFS implementation
activities will  be  conducted in states  in  conjunction with these two  new

• The Sole Source Aquifer Demonstration Program, SDWA section 1427,  re-
quires EPA to establish demonstration programs  to  protect critical
aquifer areas,   that  is,  to  protect all or part of a designated sole
source aquifer  from degradation. EPA is to  establish, by  June 1987,
criteria  for  selecting critical aquifer areas. States and local authori-
ties then  are to map these areas and provide a  comprehensive protection
plan to EPA  for such areas.  Once a plan is approved,  EPA may  enter a
cooperative  agreement  to  implement a project  on a  50/50 funding basis.
The maximum grant to a state for any  one aquifer  is  $4 million per year.

• The  Wellhead   Protection Program,  SDWA section 1428,  requires states
to develop programs for  protecting areas  around wells  supplying public
drinking water systems from contamination  that could harm public health.
EPA is to  provide criteria to states for defining we 1Ihead protection
areas by June 1987 and states have three years to submit plans to EPA.
State wellhead protection  programs must identify the responsibilities of
state and  local  governments among other requirements. Upon EPA approval,
states are eligible for  EPA grants for 50 percent  of costs  of plan
development and  implementation.

Chapter Three
      Once   statewide  NFS-affected water resources have been  prioritized  and
 decisions   have been made  concerning how far down the priority list the  state
 program can spread its efforts,  problem definition and implementation strate-
 gies within selected watersheds must be further refined.
 The Lead Agency

        Table 1  (page  15) provides  an outline  of the  primary  steps for
 assessing  institutional  arrangements.   Once  the lead agency  has been
 designated,  it has the responsibility  to identify  other potential cooperating
 agencies  such as:   USDA  Agricultural  Stabilization and  Conservation  Service
 (ASCS), USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS),   state  Cooperative   Extension
 Service,  US Geological  Survey (USGS),  state agricultural  agencies,  regional
 agencies and  planning commissions,  and conservation  districts and
 Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation committees.  Public land managers
 such as Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service  personnel  should be
 included.   Experience  has shown that including all affected or related
 parties at the planning  stage  is critical  in getting a NFS  control project off
 on the  right foot.

 The Proj ect  Coordinator

      Some   important lessons  learned in program management have come from the
 Model   Implementation Program  (MIP) (3).  Perhaps foremost  among these is the
 strong  MIP  recommendation that individual NPS control projects  designate  a
 coordinator.   Ideally,   the   coordinator should be a person with  both  water
 quality  and  project management experience.  Those MIP projects which had  no
 project coordinator experienced problems such as lack of  interagency  communi-
 cation  and  confusion over responsibilities.   The coordinator should be in-
 volved  from  the outset of  project planning on a full-time basis.

     The MIP experience also indicates  that a lead  agency should be  designated
 to coordinate project activities. Preferably, the lead agency should be local-
 ly  based and have water  quality concerns as a primary mandate.  Although MIPs
 focused only on agricultural NPS control,  these recommendations should  apply
 to other types of NPS control  projects  as well.

 1.  Identify Cooperating Agencies:

     --Federal,  state,  and local  government
     --Planning  districts
     --Private groups/organizations

 2.  Assign Lead Agency With:

     --water quality as a primary mandate
     --state accountability

 3.  Evaluate Cooperating Agency  Roles:

     •—data gathering
     —delivery  service
     --technical assistance
     --monitoring and evaluation
     —financial services

 4.  Delegate Authority According To:

     --agency mandates
     --financial resources
     --agency management commitments
     —legal authority
     —ability to obtain project  funding independent
       of the other cooperators
     —the agency's local commitment  to  the  project

 5.  Produce Summary Document  Outlining:

     —coordinating mechanisms

Establish Agency Roles

     The cooperating agencies should meet and determine the role each will
fulfill in carrying out  the  project:  data collection, service  delivery,
technical assistance, program development and implementation, public re-
lations, etc.   An evaluation should also be made of each agency's potentially
available  NFS  resources:  money, grant funding, loans, cost sharing programs,
legal authority, and personnel.

     We recommend that  a written summary be developed to define  the  roles and
responsibilities of  each agency and the  mechanisms to ensure effective  coordi-
nation.  This explanation of designated responsibilities of each agency,  signed
by all  participants, will  serve  to clarify each agency's role and prevent
future misunderstandings.  Although in many states  this was  done  in  a general
way as part of the section 208 planning process, NFS  implementation plans at
the project watershed level need to be much more  specific in terms of tasks
and responsibilities.

     Institutional capabilities must be evaluated before,  during,   and  after
specific implementation sites are chosen to ensure  that adequate  resources are
available and responsibilities are clearly delegated.   A basic recommendation
from the MIP experience is that agency  responsibilities  and tasks  be  defined
clearly,  agreed upon, and recorded in written contracts and  memoranda of
understanding (3).   Table 2 provides an overview of  agency  capabilities and
possible roles in NFS projects.


Soil Conservation
Cooperative  State
  Extension Service

Technical guidance on soil
conservation, animal waste,
and water quality management
Education of farm and nonfarm
audiences; technical advice;
fertilizer and pesticide
management programs; manure
and soil testing
 Possible Role

Assessment of soil and
water resources; incorpo-
rate water quality goals
in farm plans; assure
proper BMP implementation;
data source for project

Informational and
educational support;
identifying agri-
cultural community
leaders; motivational
support; 4H youth projects
Stabilization and

US Environmental
US Forest Service
US Geological
US Fish and
Cost sharing for approved soil
conservation or water quality
management practices;
agricultural data and
crop statistics

Water quality monitoring;
evaluation of resource impair-
ment; control of point sources
Technical assistance in forest
management; assistance for tree
planting and harvesting

Watershed monitoring; hydro-
logic information
Information on impairment,
value, and recreational use of
water resource
Financial incentives for
participation; provide
records of present
conservation status
Water quality technical
assistance; clarifying
regulatory options;
guidance for project manage-
ment and reporting; data
source for project planning

Technical assistance to
landowner; assessment of
forest-related NPSs

Data source for project
planning; assistance in
developing a monitoring

Planning and justifying
NFS control project
State Department of
Crop statistics, cost sharing
programs; liaison to farm

Project planning

Table 2_ (Continued)
State Water Quality
or Environmental
Water quality monitoring; water
quality assessments;
establishing quality standards;
regulatory authority
Coordination of NFS
project; monitoring water
resource impairment
Regional/local plan- Planning capabilities; resource   Coordination of local
ning agencies        assessments; coordination of      agencies; reporting on
                     local efforts; identification of  progress and objectives
                     funding options
Soil and Water
Administration of local
agencies reporting on progress
Landowner associ-
ations, environ-
mental groups,
commodity groups,
farm groups
Contacts with individuals
affected by project; support for
project objectives; education
and information
Leadership in local
initiatives; technical
assistance with soil
conservation or water
quality mana gement;
targeting farms;

Information and aware-
ness efforts; promote
local support and
     Once  project  areas have been chosen from the prioritized list  and  the
institutional/organizational  framework and responsibilities have been  mapped
out  generally,  the  next step is to refine further the nature of  the  water
resource problem. This will facilitate more accurate critical area identifica-
tion and BMP selection.
Pollutant Loads Versus Concentrations

     Many previous agricultural  NPS control projects (e.g., LA-RCWP, IL-RCWP)
have  stated water quality goals in terms of pollutant loading reduction with-
out due consideration of the actual use impairment. For example, if a river is
impaired by pesticide inputs (e.g., fish kills, loss of submerged macrophytes,
high residue levels in fish tissue,  violations of drinking water  standards),
reducing  pollutant loads is often not an appropriate goal.  These impairments
are usually caused by high ambient or peak pesticide concentrations as opposed
to loads.  Thus,  in this case,  pesticide BMP options should be selected  for
their  effect  on concentrations rather than loads.  It is possible that  peak
concentrations  exist when loads are low if the amount of pesticide in  runoff
is high and volume of runoff is low.

     This  concept has important implications for groundwater protection.  For
instance,  practices  which  increase infiltration of water through  the  soil
profile,  such  as no-till or terraces on cropland,  may significantly  reduce

pesticide loads to surface waters.   However,  research shows that when runoff
volume decreases by a greater amount than pesticide loads decrease,  pesticide
concentration in runoff actually increases (23) .   Conversely,  although  more
pesticide might be  leached to the groundwater, the resulting concentration of
pesticide  in the aquifer might,  in fact,  be reduced through dilution by the
increased infiltration.

     With  such  considerations in mind,  a project might  opt  to  cost share
management practices which reduce pesticide use rather than ones which  affect
runoff  and infiltration.  For NFS control projects addressing lake  eutrophi-
cation,  setting  project  water quality goals in terms of nutrient  load  re-
ductions will often be very appropriate.   It should be noted,  however,  that
changes  in  pollutant concentrations in response to NFS control measures  are
often much easier to document through monitoring.

     If  the impairment is related to the sediment filling of a  water  supply
reservoir,  then  it  would  not be appropriate to state the  project's  water
quality goal as a reduction in mean annual sediment concentrations.  Since the
majority of sediment is usually transported by a very few major runoff events,
mean annual sediment concentrations could decrease while total sediment  loads
actually  increase.   This again has important implications for BMP and criti-
cal area selection. Some BMPs (e.g., contouring) control erosion very well and
are  most cost-effective for small to moderate rainfall events but have almost
no  effect  in major storms.   In terms of critical  area  selection,  if  the
impairment is related to turbidity, then areas of the watershed with fine ero-
sive  soils  might  be much more critical than those with  the  highest  gross
erosion rates (e.g., IL-RCWP).

Dynamics of the Impairment

     Determining  other  dynamics  of the  impairment such as  whether  it  is
continuous,  periodic,  or seasonal can provide insights for critical area and
BMP  selection.   A closer examination of the hydrology of the impaired  water
resource also helps to delineate critical areas.  For example,  the impairment
(e.g.,  fish  kills,  algal blooms) may occur only in the upper portion of the
reservoir,  in which case tributaries which drain only into the lower part  of
the  reservoir  probably would not need to receive treatment to alleviate  the

     Examination   of  historical water quality data is an obvious  but  often
overlooked means of obtaining additional insight into the dynamics and  causes
of the water quality problem.  For example,  in the PA-RCWP,  determination of
the  correlation between groundwater nitrate levels and major recharge  events
enabled  the project to estimate the timeframe within which land treatment and
nutrient  management  might  affect changes in  the  aquifer  nitrate  concen-
Attainability of Use

     A central activity of a targeted NFS project is to determine how much and
what type of NFS reduction will be necessary to restore designated uses of the
water  resources.  A reduction estimate should be made for each water resource
as part of the state-level targeting process.  However,  further refinement at


the  individual project level is necessary to make good  decisions  concerning
which  NFS  treatment  options to use and how much of the  watershed  area  is
critical. Another important factor in the use attainability analysis is public
perception  of the use impairment.   We have found,  particularly in  projects
with  fishing and other recreational impairments,  that as the public  becomes
aware  of  the  NFS control project activities,  perceptions  that  the  water
resource is becoming acceptable for previously impaired uses increases overall
public use.  In such situations (e.g.,  IA-RCWP,  SD-RCWP,  AL-RCWP, OR-RCWP),
money  and effort spent on information/education and public relations might be
at  least as effective in attaining designated uses as expenditures  for  land
                          DEVELOP WATERSHED PROFILES
     A  watershed  profile document should be developed to  support  land  use
maps.   This  type of document can serve both as a data base and a baseline of
resource  information.   The profile should include an inventory of  potential
pollutant  sources which is more thorough than the general inventory  used  to
prioritize  watersheds at the state level.   The inventory should be conducted
early  in the project as it is vital in developing a realistic  implementation
strategy. A data gathering planning session held before data is collected will
help  ensure all the necessary information is obtained as easily  as  possible
and a data management plan is considered.
Point  Sources

     Discharge  monitoring  or  NPDES permit data should be  used  to  develop
estimates of the pollutant inputs of each point source.   Such estimates  need
only  be determined for the pollutants known or suspected to cause the identi-
fied water quality problems.
Nonpoint Sources

     The  watershed inventory should consider all potential nonpoint  sources.
Some  of  the sources that should be considered are listed in Table 3 on  page
22.   Based  on  the information contained in  the  watershed  profile,  major
sources  of  loadings can be identified,  BMP options  developed,  and  imple-
mentation  goals established.   Data may be limited,  especially on sources of
groundwater  contamination.   However,  an adequate data base is vital if  the
program is to set and achieve water quality goals.
Sources of Information

     The  watershed  inventory  should be tailored to address  the  identified
water resource impairment.   Detailed information on use of  fertilizers,  ma-
nure,  pesticides  or other toxics may be required depending on the  specified
use impairment.  Information is available from a variety of sources. One valu-
able  source of information is fish and wildlife departments,  both state  and
federal.   Most  fish and wildlife departments have an individual who is  very

knowledgeable  about a particular stream or water body and its problems.    SCS
and Extension programs,  too, have a large reservoir of information concerning
agricultural  areas.   The  county  ASCS office has   a  list  of  agricultural
operators with detailed accounting of participation  in federal conservation or
commodity  programs.  The ASCS office also will usually have estimates of crop
types and acreages,   other land uses and aerial photos. Local planning depart-
ments and USGS monitoring stations can also provide  useful information.  Waste-
load  allocation calculations and watershed loadings models can be helpful  as

     An  inventory  of permitted point source discharges can be obtained  from
the  state water quality agency or directly from EPA's STORET  program.   Other
useful sources include municipal governments,  state highway departments,  and
chambers of commerce.

Possible Sources

forestry activities
construction activities
mining operations
existence of gullies
livestock operations (streambanks)
other land disturbing activities

erosion from fertilized areas
urban runoff
wastewater treatment plants
industrial discharges
septic systems
animal production operations
cropland or pastures where manure is

animal operations
cropland or pastures where manure is
 spre ad
wastewater treatment plants
septic systems
urban runoff

all land where pesticides are used
(cropland, forest, pastures, urban/
 suburban, golf courses, waste
 disposal sites)
sites of historical usage (organo-
urban runoff
irrigation return flows


Quantitative, Measurable and Flexible

     Quantitative  and measurable goals provide reference points toward  which
all other project activities can be directed.  Individual project goals should
be more specific but still compatible with overall state program goals.

    Experiences  from the MIP and RCWP programs demonstrate the importance  of
quantitative  and measurable goals.   MIP projects which developed vague goals
such  as:  "to  improve the water quality within the project  area"  or  vague
objectives  such as "to obtain an adequate level of land treatment" could  not
use  these  same  statements to guide  project activities  or  assess  project
performance.   Generally,  the  statements  of goals and objectives were  more
specific  and  water quality-oriented in the RCWP  programs.    Statements  of
goals  and  objectives in terms of changes in  water  quality,  reductions  of
pollutant concentrations or loads,  changes in water resource use, achievement
of  state water quality standards,  and number of acres to be treated or  con-
tracts  to  be signed were used in the more successful MIP and RCWP  programs.

      Although projects benefit from stating quantitative water quality  goals
and  land treatment objectives,  sufficient flexibility should be retained  so
that  goals  and objectives may be modified as new information is gained  from
project  activities.   The goal-setting process should be flexible and  inter-
active,  with  its  primary  purpose to optimize  the  efficiency  of  project
activities;  only  secondarily should it serve as an accountability  mechanism
for  agency participants.   If accountability is too strongly stressed in this
process,  agency  participants will be reluctant to state quantitative  and/or
measurable  goals for fear that if the project falls short,  it would  reflect
badly on them or their agency.

     Timeframe.  The  timeframe  in which water quality changes  occur  is  an
important consideration at the project level.  Expectations for achieving pro-
ject  water  quality goals should consider that project  implementation  takes
varying  amounts of time.  Experience from the Nationwide Urban Runoff Program
(NURP)  indicates that when control practices are being placed on public  land
using  only  designated program monies,  implementation can be  completed  re-
latively  quickly  (1-2 years),  and is limited only by the time  required  to
identify sites and complete construction.   Conversely, experience from large-
scale  agricultural cost share programs such as RCWP and MIP indicate that  up
to  ten  years  may be required to progress from planning to  complete  imple-
mentation  in a voluntary program with private  landowners.   Generally,  time
must be allowed for developing public awareness,  identifying critical  areas,
arranging contracts with landowners,  and installing BMPs.   Farmers are often
reluctant to sign a cost share contract unless it provides flexibility on when
their share of the implementation cost must be paid out.  This is particularly
true  of  large structural practices such as animal waste  storage  facilities

Examples of Proj ect Level Goals and Obj actives

     Some examples of appropriate project level water quality goals and imple-
mentation objectives are provided below.

Water Quality Goals

    —Reduce  maximum summer fecal coliform concentrations  in  Lake  Tholocco
      below   200/100 ml  so that beaches can remain open at all times through
      the swimming season (AL-RCWP).

    —Reduce  the   fecal  coliform concentrations in  Tillamook  Bay  to  FDA
      standards for commercial shellfishing waters (OR-RCWP).

    —Extend the usable life of Broadway Lake by reducing mean annual sediment
      loads by 40% (SC-MIP).

    —Reduce  maximum groundwater nitrate/nitrogen concentrations below  lOppm
      so  that  project area groundwater will meet domestic  supply  standards
Implementation Objectives

    —Install animal waste management practices on at least 75% of the identi-
      fied critical dairies in the project area (VT-RCWP).

    —Install runoff control practices which will intercept the first 1/2 inch
      of  runoff  from  all areas within 1/4 mile of the lake  and  its  major
      tributaries (NC-Nutrient-Sensitive Watershed).
     In many situations,  water quality goals may be more appropriately stated
in  probabilistic terms such as reducing the frequency of exceedance for  con-
centration of a pollutant.  For example,  an urban NFS project could state its
primary  water  quality goals to reduce the frequency  of  BOD  concentrations
exceeding 400 mg/1 by 50%.
General Considerations

     Determining  the  amount of pollutant reduction needed to  achieve  water
quality goals is an essential part of the targeting and implementation effort.
The  required  pollutant reduction affects both the selection of  NFS   control
measures and the extent of areas or number of sources that must be treated.  In
general,  the  larger the pollutant reduction needed,  the larger the  critical
area  or  greater the number of sources which must be  targeted.   Within  the
critical area,  the largest and/or most intense sources should be given  first
priority.   An  important part of this project component involves  determining
the  relative  importance of pollutant contributions from point  and  nonpoint
sources .


Reliability of Estimation Techniques

     It is important to note here that the following discussion of statistical
estimations  of  point  and nonpoint source  contributions  addresses  present
conditions only, not projected estimates.

     Point  Sources.  The  accuracy of point source loading and  concentration
estimates depends on the frequency of effluent sampling and the variability of
the  point  source.   For domestic wastewater treatment  plants  which  record
outflow  continuously and sample nutrients daily,  estimates of nutrient loads
and  mean  annual concentrations are generally accurate to  within  10%.   For
other point sources whose effluent quality is determined by variable or inter-
mittent  industrial processes,  errors in calculated loads or mean  concentra-
tions  can be considerably higher (up to 50%) especially if effluent  sampling
is infrequent relative to process variability.

     Nonpoint  Sources.  Statistical  confidence in estimation techniques  for
determining nonpoint source pollutant contributions varies greatly between NPS
categories.  Agricultural  NPS areal estimates have proven to be  particularly
difficult.  The Universal Soil Loss Equation deals only with erosion rates and
has  limited usefulness because sediment delivery is  not  considered.  Models
such  as  CREAMS (12),  ANSWERS (13),  and AGNPS (14) attempt to combine  land
management,  meteorologic,  topographic and transport factors to predict areal
pollutant loadings and how they may be affected by NPS controls  (15).  Proper
use of these models should generally improve areal loading estimates.   Use of
state-of-the-art  estimation techniques such as computer models should control
the error to be within a margin of plus or minus a factor of two.

     Areal  pollutant  loadings from urban areas are somewhat  better  defined
than those from rural areas.   This could be attributed to the more  definable
relationship between impervious surface area and runoff rates for urban areas.
A  wealth  of  areal storm loading data is available from the  NURP  (16)  and
several other recent studies (17,  18).   While areal loading from urban areas
can  be estimated with approximately _+ 50% accuracy,  it should be noted  that
instantaneous  runoff pollutant concentrations are extremely variable  because
they are highly dependent on storm hydrograph position and time interval since
the last runoff event.

     Point  Versus  Nonpoint Sources.   Water resource impairments are  almost
always caused by a mixture of point and nonpoint source pollution.   Estimates
of  relative  point and nonpoint contributions can help target  NPS  treatment
more effectively.   Such estimates are useful in gaining an idea of the magni-
tude  of the NPS problems and the amount of resources it will take to  address
these  problems.   Although  the error margin associated  with  areal  loading
estimation  models  may be large,  proper use of models,  or other  acceptable
procedures,  can generate good estimates of NPS contributions.  As can be seen
in  Table  4,  a simple estimate of NPS contribution can be bounded by  a  re-
latively  narrow  confidence interval even when NPS loading has as much  as   a
factor  of two error (factor of two error represented as the range  from  one-
half the estimate to two times the estimate).  In the example shown, a maximum
error  of  34%  occurred when point and nonpoint loadings  were  approximately
equal.   Thus,  in  most cases,  targeting NPS control resources need  not  be
unduly constrained by limitations in point/nonpoint source definition.

Actual Pollutant



of NPS %

of NPS %

*Assumes absolute point source loadings are known within +_ 10%
NPS Control Effectiveness

     Construction.  Effectiveness of BMPs for sediment control at construction
sites is relatively well known.   Sediment fences, retention basins, and traps
are  effective  for retaining large sediment particles on site.  A  series  of
studies  on sediment retention basins shows that they are 56-95% efficient  in
removing gross sediment loads depending on retention time, basin geometry, and
incoming  sediment  size  distributions (19).  Sediment control practices  are
generally  only about one-half as efficient for total phosphorus removal  than
for sediment removal because a disproportionate amount of the total phosphorus
is attached to the finer, less easily captured sediment particles.

     Urban.   NPS control measures include sediment basins whose effectiveness
is noted above.  Urban catch basins designed to retain the first one-half inch
of runoff have been shown to remove most incoming heavy metals (17) and to  be
effective  for control of P.   Other control measures include street sweeping,
grassy  swales and devices  to retard storm drain flow.   The effectiveness  of
these  practices  was studied intensively under field conditions in  the  NURP
(16).  Street sweeping, in  particular, was not found to reduce urban NPS loads

    Agricultural.  A large  amount of plot and field  studies  have been  con-
ducted  on the effects of BMPs on edge of site pollutant losses.   Most  agri-
cultural  BMPs are summarized in the Best Management Practice reviews prepared
by the NWQEP (20, 21, 22, 23).  Common BMPs are discussed below.

•  Conservation  tillage   has  been found to reduce edge  of field  soil
loss between 60 and 98% depending on tillage method, soil type, slope and
crop.  No-till  studies have generally been found to reduce soil loss  by
80-98%.   Conservation tillage systems yield smaller surface losses of  P
and N than surface loss of sediment, and these systems often increase the
amount  of N loss to subsurface waters.   The effect of conservation til-
lage on pesticide losses is not clear.   For herbicides such as  atrazine
and  alachlor,  total annual losses to surface waters are reduced  80-90%
(no-till  versus  conventional  tillage) when the  first  rainfall  after
application is of low or moderate intensity.  However, if the first post-
application rainfall is of high intensity more herbicide may be lost from
no-till than conventional till.  There are very few studies on the effect
of tillage systems on groundwater pesticide losses.

• Terraces  used with conventional tillage have been shown to reduce soil
loss  by  50-98%  compared with conventional tillage  without  terracing.
Again,  reduction  of the loss of nutrients in surface runoff is  not  as
great and subsurface N losses may increase.

•  Improvements  to furrow irrigation systems,  such as furrow and  drain
modifications,  subsurface  drainage and sediment  catch  basins,  reduce
sediment export by about 80%.   Surface P export is reduced by only about
40%,  however,  and these systems have had no observed effect on N export

• Nutrient management systems,   which include soil testing for available
N, split N applications, elimination of fall applications, winter storage
of  animal waste,  and designated animal waste application rates based on
plant  requirements  for N,  appear to be the most  effective  and  cost-
effective means of reducing N export to both surface and groundwater.

• Pesticide management systems.   A linear relationship between pesticide
application   rates   and surface runoff losses is suggested by  numerous
studies (23).   The implication is that improved spraying and  integrated
pest  management techniques will reduce pesticide inputs to aquatic  sys-
tems to the extent that these techniques reduce the quantities applied.

•  Animal  waste  management systems in humid regions  include  diverting
runoff  to by-pass barnyard areas,  restricting the access of animals  to
streams, manure storage, elimination of winter manure spreading, applying
manure  at plant P requirement rates,  and not applying manure to  poorly
drained  areas.   These  practices can reduce P and  bacteria  losses  to
surface waters by 80% and 90%,  respectively, compared to farming systems
that are not managed for pollution control.

• Cent our farming alone has produced 15-55% reductions in sediment export
in  several  different studies using different crops,  slopes  and  soils
(22).  The  practice  rapidly loses effectiveness on slopes greater  than
about 8%,  however, and nutrient reductions are always less than sediment
reductions .

•  Cover crops reduce  erosion on agricultural land depending on when the
cover  crop is planted and the growth stage of the cover crop during  the
nongrowing season.  Erosion rates on land in continuous conventional till
corn  have  been  reduced by as much as 95% when a  dense  rye  cover  is

     present  until  the  time of planting.   Cover crops are often  not  good
     options if they are planted late, however, because there is little estab-
     lishment  in the fall,  and the cover delays soil warming in the  spring.
     There  is recent evidence that non-legume cover crops may reduce N leach-
     ing to groundwater as a result of plant uptake.

     •  Diversions and grassed waterways  are widely recognized  as  effective
     sediment control measures for agricultural,  urban, and construction non-
     point  sources,  although there is very little quantitative data on their
     effects.  Grassed  waterways,  in particular, are rendered ineffective by
     excessive  sediment  loading and are generally used in  conjunction  with
     other  erosion control practices such as strip cropping  or  conservation

     • Filter strips  have  become recognized as effective BMPs for control of
     silvicultural,  urban,  construction and agricultural nonpoint sources of
     sediment,  P,  bacteria  and some pesticides.  Parameters which determine
     their effectiveness include:  filter width,  slope,  type of  vegetation,
     sediment size distribution, degree of filter submergence, runoff applica-
     tion  rate,  initial pollutant concentration,  uniformity of runoff along
     the length of the filter, and proper maintenance.

Landowner Acceptance

    In  the case of voluntary agricultural programs,  the practices chosen for
emphasis in the project must integrate with the farmer's production considera-
tions.  Otherwise,  landowners will choose not to participate, or they may not
maintain implemented practices properly.   A number of projects (IA-RCWP,  WA-
MIP,  LA-RCWP,  ID-RCWP,  DE-RCWP)  have obtained high participation rates  by
cost-sharing a mix of practices that are highly acceptable to the farmer.

    For addressing urban and construction nonpoint sources,  where often a key
control measure is limiting the percentage of impervious surface area,   local
ordinance provisions which include such limitations can circumvent the  diffi-
cult issue of individual landowner acceptance.

Financial Incentives

    The  basic  issue  which has emerged related to the  control  of  nonpoint
sources  from  private  land is that much of the benefit from  control  (e.g.,
improved  water quality) does not accrue to the landowner but rather to  water
users  downstream or groundwater users.   This has been the rationale for  as-
sisting private landowners with NFS control using public funds.  In some cases
BMPs  have  sufficient on-site benefits that landowners will choose  to  adopt
them  without  financial incentives if technical assistance  is  provided.  An
example is conservation tillage systems which have been widely adopted without
cost sharing.

    Other practices such as animal waste storage and manure spreading may have
on-site  cost-effectiveness  over the long-term but  require   large  up-front
capital  investment.   Practices  such as improved fertilizer management  have
been shown to be the most effective NFS nutrient control practice and  theore-
tically  have  agronomic benefits (fertilizer savings) which  would  encourage
their adoption (21).  However, there is a perceived yield risk factor which is
difficult to quantify in dollars.  Projects which have provided extensive soil


testing  services  to  the farmer have been the most successful  in  obtaining
adoption of this BMP.

Ordinances for Sediment Control
    The existence of regulatory authority over nonpoint sources such as  sedi-
ment  from  construction  activities creates a different  type  of  incentive.
Localities  and states which have successfully addressed construction nonpoint
sources  have  ordinances with inspection provisions and  financial  penalties
(e.g., VA, NC).
Cost Sharing

    The  importance of cost sharing for agricultural BMPs has  been  discussed
above.  Experience  indicates  that  cost share rates should be set  for  each
specific  BMP based on the relative on-site/off-site benefits and the  capital
investment involved.   Assistance with long-term maintenance costs should also
be considered.  Some projects have had success offering a high cost share rate
initially  to gain project momentum  and reducing the rate when the BMP  gains
widespread acceptance.   While cost sharing has been used most extensively for
agricultural  nonpoint sources,  the cost of runoff control practices  can  be
cost shared with municipalities by the state (e.g., Wisconsin).

Information and Education Programs

    While  financial  incentives are generally needed to obtain private  land-
owner  participation  in voluntary NPS control projects,  such  assistance  is
usually  not sufficient.   In both MIP and RCWP,  a vigorous  information  and
education  program has proven essential to obtaining adequate farmer  partici-
pation.   Successful  program efforts have emphasized radio,  newspaper and TV
media,  landowner meetings,  field days, demonstration farms and youth activi-
ties.  One-on-one contact with landowners, although time-consuming, appears to
be the most effective method for gaining participation.  Several projects have
provided  services  such as soil testing or pest scouting as  inducements  for

    The watershed inventory should be used as a starting point for identifying
critical area landowners who should be contacted first.  Targeting recruitment
efforts to key landowners who are community leaders is also often an effective
strategy.   Local  Extension or Soil Conservation Service agents can  identify
these individuals.

Regulatory Options

    As of July 1,  1985,  approximately 26 states had sediment or erosion con-
trol regulations which apply primarily to construction activities.  The number
of states considering or developing such regulations is increasing,  and there
is a trend towards stronger enforcement provisions.

    At  this time,  there are only a few states with regulations that apply to
urban or agricultural NPSs.  Oregon and Minnesota have state regulations which
can force small dairy operations to clean up observed manure management  prob-
lems,  and  regulations of dairies is expected in the Lake Okeechobee basin of
Florida.  Regulation is generally enforced on a complaint basis,  and,  there-
fore, is seldom invoked.

    The  North Carolina "nutrient sensitive  watershed" designation  regulates
the percentage of impervious surface area in suburban areas near certain lakes
and requires that new developments include measures to capture the first  one-
half inch of surface runoff.
Examples of Other Incentives/Inducements

     • The creamery which buys essentially all the milk produced in the Til la-
     mo ok Bay,  Oregon RCWP project area is very concerned about the image  of
     Tillamook  cheese.   The  creamery managers score each dairy  on  various
     sanitary  factors.  Dairies which fall below the minimum acceptable score
     are  penalized in the price paid for their milk.   This appears  to  have
     greatly enhanced participation in the RCWP project.

     •  The State of Oregon allows a 50% tax credit for pollution control  ex-
     penditures  spread over 10 years.  North Carolina allows a 25% tax credit
     for  purchase  of conservation tillage equipment.   The  Wisconsin  state
     program also provides tax incentives for installing agricultural BMPs.
    Once the previous steps of designating responsibilities, such as selecting
BMPs and setting water quality goals,  are well underway,  a watershed project
should  begin the process of prioritizing source areas and sources within  the
watershed.   The  first step is to identify and weigh critical area  selection
criteria which are relevant to the water quality problem and watershed charac-

    Water  quality  critical area selection criteria can be grouped  into  the
following five broad categories:

          1) type and severity of water resource impairment;
          2) type of pollutant;
          3) source magnitude considerations;
          4) transport considerations; and
          5) other project specific criteria.

These criteria vary somewhat by pollutants as discussed below.

Type and Severity of Water Resource Impairment

    The  type of impairment  is the primary consideration for selecting  water
quality  critical areas.   The impairment may be caused by excessive pollutant
loading,  high average or maximum concentrations, or perhaps high frequency of
violating a given standard.   Impairments such as loss of reservoir or  stream
storage  capacity,  destruction  of benthic habitat,  and  eutrophication  are
generally  related to excess pollutant loading.    In contrast,  drinking water
and  swimming impairments are often caused by peak  pollutant  concentrations.
Frequency  of  standard violation is generally the concern for  impairment  of
shellfish harvesting.

    The  spatial  orientation of BMPs and the hydrology of the  watershed  can
interact to affect the dynamics of the water use impairment.  For instance, in
the  case of impairments related to peak concentrations,  it may be found that
pollutants  from the upper watershed are not delivered to the site until  well
after the peak concentrations have occurred.  Thus,  from the water use impair-
ment standpoint,  a strong case could be made for eliminating the upper water-
shed  from  the critical area even though the overall pollutant  loading  from
this area may be high.  Another example related to peak concentration  impair-
ments is the case where a wastewater treatment plant is a major contributor to
pollutant  concentrations during low flows,  but is  a minor contributor  after
storm events when the peak concentrations occur.

    The  severity of the impairment,  too,  is a major factor in critical area
selection,  because the greater the pollution reduction goal,  the greater the
extent  of  treatment  needed.   The extent of treatment  can  refer  to  more
thorough  treatment  of intense sources such as dairies and feedlots or  wider
treatment of general sources such as cropland.

Type o£_ Pollutant

    Sediment.   The designation of critical sediment contributing areas varies
depending  on  whether the impairment is due to  sedimentation  or  turbidity.
Sedimentation  may cause loss of reservoir storage capacity or degradation  of
fish  habitat,  whereas  turbidity may impair recreational uses or  provide  a
vector for transport of pesticides or other toxics.   In the first case, criti-
cal  areas  would  be selected primarily on the basis  of  sediment  delivery,
selecting the largest per-acre sources.   The turbidity problem,  on the other
hand, might be addressed best by controlling runoff  from areas where fine soil
particles originate.

    Nitrogen.   Possible  surface  water resource impairments from  N  include
eutrophication and toxicity from nitrites,  nitrates, and ammonia. Groundwater
impairments   generally include toxicity from nitrites or nitrates.  The defi-
nition  of  critical areas varies depending on whether  the  problem  involves
surface  or   groundwater.   Nitrate problems frequently occur in  areas  with
excessive  use of N fertilizer or manure disposal.   Groundwater problems  are
most  pronounced  in areas where soil characteristics facilitate transport  to
groundwater (e.g.,  sandy soils, fractured limestone).  In  addition, there is
evidence  that some soil conservation practices promote downward transport  of
nitrates.  Practices such as conservation tillage or tile outlet terracing, in
particular,  may be associated with groundwater contamination if fertilizer or
manure application rates are high.

    Phosphorus.  Phosphorus (P) is almost always associated with surface water
rather than groundwater use impairments.   Most P-related water resource prob-
lems  result from excessive annual loading.   However,  if the water  resource
flushes  seasonally,  only  the P loading immediately  preceding  algal  bloom
periods may be of concern.  For instance, runoff from row cropland or suburban
developments  may be the major P loading source on an annual basis,  but these
may  be less important than wastewater treatment plant contributions to  algal
bloom  conditions  during summer and early fall.   From a water  quality  per-
spective,  only available P (P forms which enter the food web) is of  concern;
however,  there  is wide disagreement over which chemical forms are  available
and how large a fraction they constitute.

     Microbial Pathogens.  In general, the magnitude of the water resource im-
pairment and the degree of control required determine the extent of the criti-
cal area for microbial contamination.  Reversing the impairment of a shellfish
harvesting  area  with a fecal coliform standard of 14  mpn/100  ml  generally
calls  for  a  more  inclusive critical area than that required  to  treat  an
impaired  contact  recreational  area keeping  coliform  densities  below  200
mpn/100 ml.

    Pesticides.  Nearly all documented water resource impairments from  pesti-
cides  involve either damage to aquatic fauna (fishery impairment) or concerns
for human health (contamination of domestic water supply or  fishery).   Other
impairments  caused by more subtle ecological effects have been suspected  but
are  largely  unverified.  All of these impairments are the direct  result  of
pesticide concentrations rather than total loadings.  Thus, critical areas for
pesticide  contamination should be chosen to reduce concentration.   This  may
mean  that some upper portion of the watershed,  from which runoff reaches the
impaired areas only after peak concentrations have occurred, may not be criti-
cal.  The critical area, therefore, depends on the hydraulic retention time of
the  water resource such that an impaired stream segment would have a  smaller
critical area than a lake.

    If  the  impairment is in a lake or impoundment with sufficient  retention
time,  all  runoff  within the watershed may affect the concentration  in  the
lake.  Note,  however, that local toxicity problems may result from BMPs which
reduce surface runoff volume but cause an increase in the runoff concentration
of pesticides.

    Special considerations may be necessary for certain pesticide problems.

     • Organochlorine  insecticides concentrate with trophic level  (biomagni-
     fication),  resulting  in sport and commercial fish species which contain
     concentrations  that may pose human health problems.   Concentrations  in
     the water column, however, are seldom measurable.

     •  Most  organophosphorus insecticides are highly toxic to  both  aquatic
     fauna  and humans,  but have low persistence in surface water and are not
     biomagnified.   Most  documented  impairments have been  associated  with
     accidental spills or over-applications. Impairments result from intermit-
     tent high water concentrations.  Only surface water impairments have been

     •  Most carbamate insecticides  are  moderately  toxic to  fauna and  humans,
     have low persistence and are not biomagnified.   An important exception is
     aldicarb,  which  is  highly toxic  and has  shown persistence  of  several
     years in groundwater.  Incidents of  both ground  and surface water contami-
     nation are well documented.

     •   Triazine herbicides exhibit chronic effects on aquatic ecosystems  at
     low ppb concentrations.  Algal  communities  are  most sensitive,  exhibiting
     changes in community structure  which,   in turn, affect  trophic  status and
     parameters  such  as dissolved  oxygen.   Aquatic macrophytic  communities
     also are affected adversely  at  these concentrations.    Triazines may be a
     problem  in  drinking water  because they are not removed by  conventional
     treatment processes.

     • The anil ides,  like the triazines,  are highly toxic  to algae and aqua-
     tic macrophytes,  and only moderately toxic to  fish and humans.   Effects
     of long-term,  low-level exposures  are largely  unknown,  although  recent
     studies  implicate  alachlor  as a  moderately  strong  animal  carcinogen.
     Anilides  are frequently detected in the 1-40  ug/1 range in  surface  and
     groundwaters,  and,  as with the triazines, little removal occurs through
     water treatment processes.

Source Magnitude

    Erosion Rate

    Sediment.  Erosion rate has served as the primary criterion in traditional
soil conservation programs.   As  a practical matter  erosion  rate is   generally
not  measured directly,  but rather  is estimated from the Universal  Soil  Loss
Equation  in which erosion rate is a function of slope (length and steepness),
soil erodibility, and the density of vegetative  cover.

    Phosphorus. Many studies show P  losses are closely correlated with erosion
rates.   However,  erosion  reducing practices do not reduce P losses  as  ef-
ficiently  as they do sediment because the finer fraction of sediment is typi-
cally  most  enriched in P;  and  the fine  sediment  fraction  is  not  reduced
effectively  by on-field erosion  control practices.    A major study found that
in  a  12,000 acre watershed P reductions were only  one-half of  sediment  re-
ductions from erosion control practices  (26).

    Other  Pollutants.  For  N  and  microbial pathogen-related  water  quality
impairments, erosion rate is generally not an appropriate critical area selec-
tion criterion. Conversely, nearly all presently and historically used organo-
chlorines  have  been shown to adsorb strongly to  soil  particles.   For  this
reason,  they  are  lost  in surface runoff almost  entirely  in  the  sediment-
adsorbed phase.  Hence,  erosion rate should be considered an appropriate cri-
terion  for  selecting critical areas for control  of  organochlorine  aquatic
inputs.   As  in  the case of other  sediment-adsorbed agricultural  pollutants
such  as phosphorus,  the reduction in pesticide losses will be less than the
erosion reduction because of enrichment  on the fine soil fraction.

    There is evidence that the organophosphorus insecticide,  fonofos, is lost
in  surface runoff primarily in the sediment-adsorbed phase   (23),  suggesting
that  the inclusion of erosion rate  as a selection  criterion may be  appropri-


ate.  On the other hand, modeling efforts indicate that methylparathion runoff
losses,  are 90% dissolved, implying that erosion rate should not be used as a
selection criterion for this pesticide.
    Extensive research has shown that the carbamates,  triazines, and anilides
are  lost  predominantly in the dissolved phase of surface runoff,  and  thus,
erosion rate has limited applicability to critical area selection.   Chemicals
in all three of these classes have been identified as soil leachers,  and thus
the  presence of sandy soils or Karst areas should be used as a  primary  cri-
terion for groundwater protection.

    Manure Sources

    Barnyards,  feedlots,  milk  houses,  or fields where high rates of animal
manure  are spread should be considered as sources of  N,  P,  and  pathogens.
These  may represent extremely critical areas if the impairment involves  bac-
terial contamination.

    On a weight basis the nutrient availability from various livestock manures
is as follows:

                    Poultry ^Horses > Cattle = Dairy > Hogs

    A  selection  process for identifying animal confinement areas  which  are
critical sources of P has been proposed by Motschall et.al.   (28).  The method
involves comparison of soil P levels in the confinement area drainageways with
the  P  levels of adjacent soils.   Drainageway soils with relatively high  a-
vailable  P  levels  indicate that the barnyard is a  critical  source  of  P.
Minnesota  and  Wisconsin use the Minnesota Feedlot Model (14)  to  prioritize
barnyards  and  feedlots.   This model is available from  USDA's  Agricultural
Research Service for use on a programmable hand calculator.

    Fertilization Rate and Timing

    Fertilization  rate  and timing is not an appropriate selection  criterion
for sediment-related impairments.   It has been known for some time that  sur-
face  and  subsurface  losses of N are a function of how well  application  is
matched  to crop needs.  Critical cropland sources of N include  those  fields
where  excessive  N  rates are applied or N is applied to the surface  in  the
fall.   Areas  where N is applied at recommended rates and timed to  meet  the
needs of growing crops may be designated noncritical.

    Fertilization  rate is also an important criterion for selecting  critical
areas for P control.   Areas with high rates of manure applied to P-rich soils
are a particular problem to be recognized in designation of  critical areas for
P.   The timing of application is less important than for N  because P is much
less mobile either in surface runoff or through the soil.

    Microbial Pathogen Sources

    High  intensity  sources of fecal coliform bacteria usually include  feed-
lots,  manure storage piles,  cropland where manure is spread,  stream  access
areas  for livestock,  municipal wastewater treatment plant  effluent,  leaking
sewage  connector lines,  and failing residential septic tanks.    Runoff  from
urban areas also may contain high fecal coliform densities,   often  attributed


to leaky sanitary sewer systems, combined sanitary and storm sewer systems, or
domestic animal wastes washed from impervious surfaces.

    Pesticide Usage Patterns

    In  general,  this is the most important criterion for selecting  critical
areas  for pesticide control.   Since pesticides do not  occur naturally,  only
use or disposal areas are sources.   Thus,  the selection process of  critical
areas  for pesticide control should identify the usage patterns by cropland in
the watershed.

    With few exceptions (e.g.,  toxaphene),  organochlorines were phased out of
agricultural use in the U.S.  from 1972 to 1976.   Heptachlor is still used to
some extent for fire ant control,  chlordane for termite control,  and lindane
for certain forestry uses.  In terms of water use impairments, however, banned
organochlorines are still of concern. They continue to persist in historically
treated agricultural soils and are,  thus,  available for transport and uptake
into  the aquatic food web.    Cotton acreage received the most  organochlorine
applications  during  the latter 1960's and  1970's making it the  most  likely
candidate to have banned organochlorine residue problems.

    Usage  information by crop can provide an important  first cut for  identi-
fying initial areas associated with particular pesticides.   The usage pattern
within  a given region may differ considerably from the  aggregate  usage  sta-
tistics .
Transport Considerations
    Distance to Nearest Watercourse

    Sediment.   For sediment, distance to nearest watercourse is a major factor
in selecting critical areas because extensive research has shown that not  all
eroded soil reaches watercourses.   The sediment delivery ratio, defined as the
ratio of sediment delivered to the estimated gross soil erosion,  is inversely
related to DISWC.
    Nitrogen.  For  nitrogen (N) contamination of  groundwater,   the  distance
downward  from  the  soil  surface to the saturated zone is  the  distance  of
interest. A short distance from the soil surface to groundwater  can mean rapid
transport of N.   This criterion should be considered in conjunction with  the
soil permeability and organic matter content,  however,  because  poorly drained
soils do not transmit N rapidly to groundwater, and denitrification may reduce
the  N available.   Nitrogen delivery to surface waters,  too,  decreases with
increasing  distance.  Unlike sediment,  however,  there is relatively  little
deposition.   Stabilization  occurs primarily by plant uptake  and  denitrifi-

    Transport  mechanics  for N compounds are diverse because N  can be  trans-
formed among a variety of chemical species (e.g., NO-3,  NH-3, NH-4, N-2, NO-2,
organic-N) which have vastly different transport characteristics.   Water  mo-
bile  forms such as NO-3 can move readily in surface and subsurface flow.  One
recent  study  showed  that 60% of the NO-3 loading to  a  stream  involved  a


subsurface route (29). While the partitioning of N is complex, it appears that
most of the N that leaches through the plant root zone eventually reappears in
either ground or surface waters.   This reduces the utility of the distance to
nearest watercourse as a critical area selection criterion for N.

    Phosphorus.  Critical  area considerations for P are similar to those  for
sediment.  The delivery efficiency of P is greater than for sediment, however,
because the fine sediment  fraction that does not settle readily in the  field
is  enriched in P.   In addition,  between 5-30% of P may be lost in the  dis-
solved phase depending on soil type and cropping practices employed.

    Pathogens.   As  with  previously described pollutants,  distance  from  a
potential  pathogen source to a watercourse is an important consideration when
identifying  critical areas for pathogens.   Wastewater treatment plants  that
discharge to streams are considered to have 100% delivery efficiency.

    Pesticides.   The  distance criterion is applicable to all pesticide clas-
ses,  although the dominant transport mechanism varies greatly with  pesticide
class.   Criteria for selection of critical areas for strongly absorbed pesti-
cides  are similar to those for sediment and P.  Delivery efficiency decreases
with watershed size such that areas with short distance to nearest watercourse
may be critical.  The potential for drifting pesticides to reach a watercourse
should be considered in the selection process.  Pesticides, such as toxaphene,
which are often applied aerially are highly susceptible drift losses.

     • Distance is important  for organophosphorus pesticides  because of  the
     large  drift losses often associated with their application,  and because
     their  relatively  low persistence (1-8 weeks) in the  environment  means
     that longer transport reduces the probability that active chemicals  will
     reach  the water resource.   Because organophosphorus pesticides are lost
     primarily  in the dissolved phase of runoff,  delivery efficiency may  be
     higher than sediment.

     • Carbamates,  like organophosphorus pesticides,  have a short  root-zone
     half-life  and are lost primarily in the dissolved phase of surface acti-
     vity.  For proven soil leachers such as carbofuran or aldicarb, it may be
     the depth to the water table and soil permeability which are the concern.

     •  The triazines are  relatively mobile as a  pesticide  class.   Studies
     have  shown  that 0.2-16% of applied amounts are lost in  surface  runoff
     (30),  the  majority  being in the dissolved phase.   The  time  interval
     between application and the first runoff event is a major factor influen-
     cing runoff losses.  Soil column leaching experiments show that triazines
     move  fairly readily through soils,  particularly if the clay content  is
     low  (31).   Numerous  field studies have found triazines in  groundwater
     (32).   In  summary,  it appears that triazine transport  efficiency  de-
     creases only moderately with increasing distance.

     • The anilides  are lost almost entirely in the dissolved phase. Edge-of-
     field  studies  show  that alachlor is lost in surface runoff  even  more
     readily than atrazine (33).   A recent watershed study,  however,  showed
     that alachlor had considerably lower delivery efficiency to streams  than
     atrazine  (14).  This  implies that,  although anilides are  very  mobile
     initially,  their surface transport susceptibility decreases rapidly with
     increasing distance. Because the mobility of alachlor through the soil is


     a  concern,  distance  to the water table and soil permeability  are  key
     critical area criteria  for  groundwater protection.

     Distance To The Impaired Water Resource

    Distance  to the impaired water resource is another potentially  important
criterion  for selecting water quality critical areas because not all material
that reaches a watercourse is delivered directly downstream. Losses take place
by deposition particularly where stream gradients decline.  Nitrogen flux also
may decrease within a watercourse due to biological uptake or denitrification,
and  a significant fraction of the biologically available P may be  lost  from
solution due to adsorption to sediment or biological processing.

    Most  pathogenic bacteria die off rapidly at ambient temperature,  and  so
distance  is  a very important consideration.   Because watercourse  transport
distance  and time are closely related,  it is actually the time interval  be-
tween  excretion  and delivery to the site of the  water  resource  impairment
which  determines  the amount of die-off which occurs.    However,  die-off  is
generally more rapid in the watercourse than in fields,  barnyards,  or street
surfaces (34).

    The  importance  of distance to the impaired water  resource as a  critical
area selection criterion for various pesticide classes  derives from the trans-
port considerations presented above.  Dissipation of sediment-bound pesticides
between  the nearest watercourse and the impaired water resource results  from
deposition and subsequent stabilization.

    Dissipation of triazine and anilide herbicides between an upstream  water-
course  and the site of impairment occurs primarily by  adsorption to  particu-
lates  and  by  plant uptake.   Their persistence is on the order  of  several
months  so degradation within the watercourse is generally  small.  Therefore,
this concept should not be a major selection criterion  for these herbicides in
surface water unless the watershed is very large.  In the case of  groundwater
impairments, on the other hand, distance to groundwater may be important since
concentration decreases with depth in the soil profiles.

Other Selection Criteria

    Present  Conservation Status.  Cropping  or  animal production  operations
which  already  have effective soil conservation or manure management  systems
should not be considered as critical sources or areas.    A major problem  that
arises  from  using  this as a targeting criterion is that  in  voluntary  NPS
projects,  landowners  who previously installed some conservation practices at
their own expense fail to qualify for cost sharing funds.

    As with other agricultural water pollutants,  present conservation  status
should  be  carefully considered in designating critical areas  for  pesticide
control.   The  most important parameter is generally the amount of  pesticide
being  applied.   Numerous  studies  show that for a given set  of  management
practices,  the  amount of pesticide lost by each transport route  is  roughly
proportional  to application rate.   If information on  the method and rate  of
application  is not available,  surrogate measures such as the level of  inte-
grated  pest management practiced can give an indication of how current appli-
cation rates compare with what can be feasibly achieved.

    Another  important  consideration is the method and  timing  of  pesticide
application.   Optimal  methods  control drop sizes and spraying with  ground-
based  equipment to reduce drift and use formulations which  minimize  voliti-
zation,  runoff,  and  drift losses.   Timing options include relying on  pest
scouting and avoiding application on windy days or when heavy precipitation is

   Planning Timeframe. There may be areas that are adequately protected from a
1  or 2 year recurrence runoff event but are susceptible to massive  pollutant
transport  from  a  50 year recurrence event.  Since most detached  soil  will
eventually  reach waterways,  critical areas will generally increase  in  size
with longer planning timeframes.

    Designated  High or Low Priority Subbasin.  In many cases,  monitoring  or
hydrological  data  indicate  that certain subbasins  have  a  disproportional
effect on the water quality of the impaired water resource.  Hence, a decision
to  assign  the entire subbasin a higher priority may be appropriate  for  ad-
dressing the water resource impairment.  Conversely, it may also be found that
some  subbasins with relatively high unit area loading may not have a signifi-
cant impact on the water resource because of isolating factors.   For example,
in an impoundment that is impaired by high pathogen levels, the tributary with
the highest fecal coliform levels may not be a critical subbasin if its  point
of entry to the water resource is downstream from the impaired area.

    On-site Evaluation.   Although the selection criteria described above pro-
vide  some  useful guidelines,  and the information may be  available  without
visiting  the site,  on-site evaluation of the individual farm or field  often
provides  additional  information on pollutant input  potential.  The  on-site
evaluation  often reveals that areas which were initially designated  critical
on  the  basis of distance or source magnitude,  for  example,  are  not  con-
tributing to the water quality problem for one reason or another.

Develop Farm Level Ranking Procedure

    Once  the  relevance and the importance of each  critical  area  selection
criterion has been considered,  these decisions must be translated into a form
that can be used to prioritize specific sources within the watershed.

    We  have  developed several one page forms for translating  the  selection
criteria  into  a  practical tool that can be used at an  on-site  inspection.
Examples  for P and pesticide-related water resource impairments are  included
below.   The  point  scale  is presented as arbitrary values  that  should  be
adapted to meet local conditions.  In Figure 1,  fertilizer and manure manage-
ment practices are by far the most important rating criteria.  With Figure  2,
use  and  disposal of pesticides are the primary factors that  will  determine
farm ratings.

     Criterion                                   Score
Type of Crop
Tobacco, peanuts
Corn, soybeans, cotton
Hay and pasture land
Distance to Nearest Watercourse
Greater than 1/4 mile
1/8 to 1/4 mile
Less than 1/8 mile
Distance to Impaired Water Resource
Greater than 5 miles
1 to 5 miles
Less than 1 mile
Gross Erosion Rate
Less than 5 tons /acre/year
5 to 10 tons /acre/year
Greater than 10 tons/acre/year



      Present Fertilizer Practices
      Soil test recommendations with banded
        or split application (nitrogen)           -10
      Soil test recommendation                      0
      Exceedance of soil test recommendations
      (Add 1/2 point for each pound of applied P    0-100
       in excessc)

      Magnitude of Manure Source
      (A.U. = animal unit)
      Less than 0.2 A.U./acre                       0
      0.2 to 1.0 A.U./acre                         15
      Greater than 1.0 A.U./acre                   30

      Present Manure Management Practices
      Manure nutrients measured; applied at
        recommended rate from soil test; no
        winter spreading                          -10
      Manure applied at soil test
        recommendations                             0
      Excess manure applied  (Add 1/2 point  for
        each excess pound of manure P applied)  0-100
      Observed barnyard, feedlot, or milkhouse  0- 30
        runoff problem


     Use of Suspected
  Ranee of Factor
At Label Recommended Rate
Excess of Recommended Rate
Not Used

  100 + Excess %
     Distance to Nearest
Short Distance (e.g., £ 0.5 km)   15
Long Distance (e.g., i 0.5 km)     0
     Distance to
     Impaired Water
Short Distance (e.g., i 5 km)     10
Long Distance (e.g., £ 5 km)       0
     Application Method      Low Drift (e.g., ground-based      0
                               with shields, re circulators,
                               etc. )
                             Ave. Drift (e.g., ground-based
                               with no shields)                 5
                             High Drift (e.g., aerial)         15

     Level of IPM            High                             -10
      Practiced              Average                            0
                             Low                               10

     Pesticide Disposal      Excellent                          0
      Practice               Average                           15
                             Poor (e.g., dumping containers    30
                               into stream)

     Erosion Rate (use only  High                              20
       for sediment-adsorbed Average                           10
       pesticides)           Low                                0

     Runoff Rate (use only   High                              20
       for dissolved pesti-  Average                           10
       cides affecting sur-  Low                                0
       face water)

     Infiltration Capacity   High                              20
       (use only for dis-    Average                           10
       solved pesticides     Low                                0
       affecting ground-

Modify Implementation Plan on The Basis of_ Water Quality Monitoring

    As  the project proceeds,  water quality monitoring or other  observations
may  indicate that certain subbasins are unlikely to respond to further treat-
ment,  while  others  are larger contributors of  pollutants  than  originally
estimated on the basis of land management selection criteria.  Targeting should
be redirected as appropriate.   It is important,  however, to maintain a clean
record to document the reasons for modifying the plan.
Develop Contracts

    Ideally,  water  quality  contracts  should address all of  the  potential
nonpoint  sources at a site if this can be done without cost  constraints  and
with  landowner  acceptance0  However,  it should be remembered that  a  basic
concept of the targeting approach is to treat efficiently the identified water
resource impairment.   Thus,  in many cases,  it may be appropriate to develop
water  quality  contracts  with  landowners that address  only  those  on-site
problems directly related to the water resource impairment, targeting the most
important water quality concerns at the farm level.

    It  is  also  important that contracts be explicit in terms  of  the  time
allowed  for  completion  and the consequences of  nonfulfillment,,  For  agri-
cultural  projects  where water quality goals involve  nutrient  control,  the
importance of tying fertilizer management (soil testing and N applications) to
all land treated with other BMPs cannot be over-emphasized.

Monitor Land Treatment

    At a minimum,  all NFS implementation projects should monitor the location
and  areal  coverage of each type of control  practice  applied,  particularly
those which are assisted by public funds.  A land treatment program with water
quality objectives should include the following:

     a.  location of practices, including distance to watercourse and distance
         to the impaired water resource, and a detailed project map;

     b.  the area covered, protected, or otherwise benefited by each practice
         (or system of practices);

     c.  aggregate coverage by all implemented practices (area treated);

     d.  accounting  of  practice implementation by subbasins associated  with
         individual water quality monitoring sites;

     e.  the  dates  on which individual control measures were  contracted and
         installed; and

     f.  records  on  site visits to evaluate location,  assess  progress,  or
         assure maintenance.

Water Quality Monitoring

    The project should decide from the outset whether or not to monitor  water
quality  effects.   A strong case can be made  that if the water  resource  is
valuable  enough to be targeted for intensive NFS control,  then verifying the
project's  impact  on the water resource is worth tracking.   In  the  overall
state NFS control program,  at least a subset of projects should include water
quality monitoring.   Because monitoring is expensive,  the monitoring program
should  be  designed carefully to answer clearly defined  questions  using  an
efficient  experimental  design (27).  It may be advantageous to monitor  only
certain  representative or more intensively treated subbasins rather than  the
impaired resource itself,  particularly if the project area is large or  there
are parts of the watershed influenced predominantly by point sources.

    The  decision  of  whether to monitor changes of water  resource  quality,
physical,  chemical,  or  biological attributes should be based  partially  on
whether  the implementation program can be expected to reduce these parameters
sufficiently  for detection through monitoring.   Recent work  indicates  that
about 40% reduction in annual mean pollutant concentrations may be required to
be statistically significant in a five-year monthly grab sample program (1, 2,
5,  6).  Even this sensitivity requires that the program include corresponding
hydrologic and meteorologic-related measurements with each sample.

Socio-economic Impacts

    Accelerated   NFS  implementation  projects  often  have   major,   albeit
localized,  social  and economic effects.   Production practices may change to
increase or decrease their labor requirements,  machinery usage,  energy  con-
sumption, fertilizer and pesticide usage, and equipment needs may change.

    Urban  or  construction NFS control regulations may influence  development
patterns.   Restoring impaired uses of the water resource may stimulate  local
economies, particularly where high-demand recreational uses are possible.

     Finally,  there  may be multiple effects from the increased attention and
dollars.  For example, the Tillamook Bay, Oregon, RCWP project revitalized the
local construction industry with numerous spinoff effects.  Unless an  attempt
to  measure such socio-economic impacts is made,  many of the benefits of   BMP
implementation programs will be unrecognized.

Analysis  of  Water Quality Trends

    A  description of appropriate water quality analysis methods is beyond the
scope  of this document.  However,  some general concepts are applicable  when
designing  NFS  water  quality monitoring systems  and  conducting  subsequent

    NFS monitoring systems should have a clearly stated design that  specifies
both  the  sampling protocol and the data analysis.    Several approaches  have
been presented for such application.  These include:

               a.   before versus after (time trends)
               b.   above versus below (spatial trends, upstream-downstream)
               c.   paired watershed (treatment versus control)

    Information  on the data  requirements,  assumptions,  advantages,  disad-
vantages  and corresponding analysis methods for each experimental design  are
available in NWQEP documents (27).

    The  'before  vs.  after'  design generally requires the  largest  time  to
document  changes.   It is for this design that corresponding measurements  of
meteorologic  variability  are  essential.   Otherwise,  data  variability  is
generally so large that only very dramatic changes can be observed,  and it is
impossible  to attribute observed water quality changes to the  implementation
activities.      The  'above  vs.  below'  design is  applicable only where  NFS
contributing areas are isolated in one segment of the drainage.   This  design
is frequently used for point source monitoring or to document the existence of
NFS problems.

    A  paired watershed design builds in adjustment  for meteorologic and other
sources  of variability.   Thus,  it can provide the most sensitive and  rapid
documentation  of  water quality improvements.   This design  should  be  used
whenever  possible.   The limitation is in finding appropriate subbasin  pairs
and excluding implementation from the control watershed.

Format and Content of Project Reports

    Efficient  and accurate reporting of NFS implementation activities  assist
program  managers and decision-makers in evaluation  and project  coordination.
It  provides  a useful process by which project agency personnel can  see  how
their efforts are being coordinated with those of other agencies, and it shows
where  progress  has occurred or where problems have arisen.  A prototype  NFS
project outline designed for the RCWP program is shown in Appendix A.


                                APPENDIX A


I.  Problem Definition

    A.  Water Quality Problems (Surface and Ground Waters)

    B.  Major Pollutants

    C.  Project Goals and Objectives

    D.  Land Use and Potential Pollutant Sources Descriptions

        1.  Non-Agricultural

           a.  Municipal waste
           b.  Industrial waste
           c.  Construction
           d.  Mining
           e.  Landfills
           f.  Septic tanks
           g.  Silvicultural
           h.  Other

        2.  Agricultural—Emphasize those elements which contribute  to  the
           primary water quality problems.

           a.  Cropland
           b.  Animal production
           c.  Examples of data are:
              1) topography
              2) climatic description including amount  and seasonality of
              3) major crops and acreages
              4) average yields of major crops
              5) animal waste production
              6) average soil loss per acre,  by land  use
              7) level of irrigation and general irrigation methods

              (For more complete listing see:  "Conceptual  Framework  for
              Assessing Agricultural Nonpoint  Source  Project" prepared by
              the National Water Quality Evaluation Project staff.)

    E.  Most Probable Pollutant Sources

        1.  Justification for omission of certain land use  areas  as  pol-
           lutant sources
        2.  Justification for inclusion of certain land  use areas as  pol-
           lutant sources

    F.   Critical  Areas

         1.  Map with critical  areas  delineated
         2.  Rationale for selection  of  critical  areas
            a.  Background data (e.g.,  relative pollutant  loads)
            b.  Surrogate measures

 II. Water Quality Monitoring

     A.  Objectives

     B.  Strategy

         1.  Site  locations - map
            a.  Description
            b.  Rationale for selection
         2.  Parameters
            a.  Listed by site
            b.  Rationale for selection
         3.  Data  collection schedule

     C.  Methods

         1.  Sampling
         2.  Analytical

     D.  Quality  Control

         1.  Precision
            a.  Replicate samples
            b.  Replicate instrumental  analysis
         2.  Accuracy
            a.  Intralab verification
            b.  Interlab verification

III. Land Treatment Strategy

     A.  Objectives

     B.  Goals

     C.  Methods

         1 .  BMP list
         2.  Other practices or activities

 IV. Results and  Discussion

     A.  Land Treatment

            In  this  section,  the goals and  accomplishments   for   program
         implementation should be described.

         Program  implementation could be defined in several different
     ways:  contracts approved,  BMPs put into place,  acreage served,
     program expenditures and farmer participation.   Activities  under
     other  programs (Agricultural Conservation  Program (ACP),  Great
     Plains Conservation  Program (GPCP),  PL 566, etc.)  and  private
     individual efforts (your best estimate) should  be  included  and
     separately identified from those under RCWP.  Further,  a separate
     accounting  should be made for activity within critical areas  as
     well as outside the critical areas.

         Highlight  water quality or conservation activities that have
     occurred in the project area prior to project approval.

     1. Number of SCS farm plans in project area
     2. Land adequately protected (SCS definition)
     3. Earlier  special practice or project emphasis  or  accomplish-
        ments, including  private accomplishments within  the  project

B.   Summary of First Year Water Quality Data (Baseline)

     1. By monitoring site
     2. Emphasis on charts, figures and tables

C.   Data Analysis

          The  requirement for this section is to  present  sufficient
     data  to  determine changes in water quality trends.   It is  not
     necessary  to  present all the water quality data  collected  for
     every parameter considered (although such data can be included in
     an appendix).   Present changes or summaries of changes in  those
     parameters  that best represent trends in water quality for  your
     particular  project,  emphasizing the major water quality impair-
     ments  in the project area.   It is acceptable to  exclude  those
     parameters  which do not relate directly to problems specific  to
     the project.

          It  is difficult to select a single or even several measures
     in combination which will perfectly characterize changes in water
     quality.  Because  of  variations in water impairments  and  sur-
     rounding conditions,  no specific set of measures can be required
     for every project area.  It is, however, important that statisti-
     cal  analyses (such as correlations,  trend analyses,  regression
     analyses,  etc.)  be incorporated wherever possible in data  sum-
     maries and interpretations.  Water quality trend reporting should
     be  presented on an individual sampling station basis.   This  is
     necessary  to account for the variation within each project  area
     in  the source and extent of the impairment as well as  the  type
     and extent of program treatment.

D.   Water Quality Progress

          This  section  is  to explain changes in water  quality  and
     their  relationship  to changes  in:   BMP  implementation,  agri-
     cultural  factors  and  nonagricultural   factors.     Attributing
     changes  in  water quality to these three separate   sources  will
     help  isolate  program  effects from other  effects  and  thereby
     assist in the evaluation of RCWP -

          Water  quality changes related to the type of  practice,  the
     extent of the practice installed and the location of the practice
     application should be evaluated.  It is here that the station-by-
     station information will be most useful.  Water quality trends at
     each  station can be linked to changes in all conservation  prac-
     tice  applications  occurring  above  that  location.   Practices
     applied  under RCWP,  other programs,  and on private  initiative
     should be considered.

          In  addition  to  effects  from  conservation    application,
     changes  in  other  factors  may also be  responsible  for  water
     quality  changes.   Use the background information   presented  in
     Section  I as a checklist when considering the possible contribu-
     tion  of  other  agricultural  and  nonagricultural  factors  in-
     fluencing water quality trends.  After identifying  the changes in
     water  quality  related to  RCWP,  it  may  be  possible  to  make
     inferences concerning the role of  practices applied under RCWP.

E.   General Assessment

          The  purpose of this section is to give an assessment of the
     project in achieving its water quality objectives.   This  assess-
     ment  should  be organized as an appraisal of the  strengths  and
     weaknesses of each project in four program areas: funding, parti-
     cipation,  practice  application  and water  quality  monitoring.
     Assessment  should  include the success or failure   in  achieving
     program goals. Examples could include the following:

     1. Cost share levels offered
     2. Contracts signed in the critical areas
     3. Water quality practice implementation
     4. Water quality monitoring
     5. Informational and educational assistance

F.   Recommendations

          This  section should present  recommendations of changes that
     you plan to make in the operation of your project as a result  of
     your evaluation. List and justify any recommendations for changes
     which should occur in the RCWP program.

G.   References


 1.    Smolen,  M.D.,   R.P.  Maas,  J.  Spooner, C.A.  Jamieson,  S.A. Dressing, and
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          CM&E   Projects.   National    Water  Quality  Evaluation   Project.
          Biological and Agricultural  Engineering Department.,North  Carolina
          State University.  122p.

 2.    Jamieson, C.A.,  J.  Spooner,  S.A.  Dressing, R.P- Maas, M.D. Smolen, and
          F.J.  Humenik.  1985b.  Rural  Clean  Water  Program, Status Report  on
          the  CM&E Projects.   Supplemental Report: Analysis Methods. National
          Water  Quality  Evaluation  Project,  Biological   and  Agricultural
          Engineering Department,  North  Carolina State University. 71p.

 3.    NWQEP and  Harbridge House,   Inc.   An Evaluation of the Management    and
           Water Quality Aspects of  the  Model  Implementation Program. Biologi-
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           University, Raleigh,  NC;  1983.

 4.    Maas, R.P.,  A. Patchak,  M.D.  Smolen, J.  Spooner.  Cost-Effectiveness  of
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           In:  Lake  and  Reservoir  Management:   Influences  of Nonpoint Source
           Pollutants and  Acid Precipitation.  Proceedings  of the Sixth Annual
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           November  5-8, 1986, Portland, Oregon.

 5.    Smolen,   M.D.,  R.P. Maas, J.  Spooner, C.A. Jamieson,  S.A. Dressing,  and
           F.J.   Humenik.   1986a.    NWQEP  1985 Annual  Report,  Status   of
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           Department, North Carolina  State University. 66pp.

 6.    Smolen,   M.D.   R.P-   Maas,  J.  Spooner,  C.A.Jamieson,  S.A. Dressing,  and
           F.J.  Humenik.  1986b. NWQEP 1985 Annual Report,  Appendix: Technical
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 7.    Spikier, D.L.    1984.   Priority  Watersheds for the Potential Release  of
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 8.    Pennsylvania Bulletin,  1979.  Vol.9, No.38,  September  22,  1979.

 9.    Davenport,  I.E.,   1984.  Illinois'   Process to  Identify,  Screen,   and
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10.    Wisconsin  Administrative  Code,   NR 120. Nonpoint  Source  Pollution
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11.    U.S.  EPA  Office of Ground-Water   Protection, May, 1985. Selected State
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12.    Knisel,  W.G.   and G.R.   Foster,  1980.   CREAMS:  A System for Evaluating
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13.    Beasley,  D.B.  and L.F.   Huggins,  1980.  ANSWERS (Areal  Nonpoint Source
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14.    Young,   R.A,    C.A.  Onstad,  D.D.   Bosch,   and  W.P-   Anderson.   1985.
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15.    Reckhow,  K.H.,  J.B.  Butcher,   and C.M.  Martin.  1985.  Pollutant  Runoff
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16.    USEPA. 1983. Results of the Nationwide Urban Runoff  Program, Volume 1.
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17-    NRCD.  1985. Toxic Substances in  Surface  Waters  of the  B.  Everett  Jordan
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18.    Novotny,  V.,   T.C.  Daniel  and  R.M.   Motschall.  1982.  Development of  a
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19.    Raush,  D.L.  and  J.D.   Schreiber.   1981.  Sediment and  Nutrient   Trap
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20.    NWQEP.  1982a.  Best  Management  Practices   for  Agricultural  Nonpoint
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21.    NWQEP. 1982b.  Best Management Practices for  Agricultural Nonpoint  Source
           Control:   II.  Commercial Fertilizer.   Biological  and Agricultural
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22.    NWQEP. 1982c.  Best Management Practices for  Agricultural Nonpoint  Source
           Control:   III.  Sediment. Biological and Agricultural  Engineering
           Department, North Carolina State  University,  Raleigh, NC. 49pp.

23.    Maas,  R.P.,  S.A.  Dressing, J.  Spooner,  M.D. Smolen,  and F.J. Humenik.
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           IV. Pesticides. Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department,
           North Carolina State  University.  Raleigh, NC. 83pp.

24.    Haith, D.A. and R.C. Loehr, Eds.  1979.  Effectiveness of Soil  and  Water
           Conservation  Practices  for Pollution  Control.   EPA-600/3-79-106.

25.    Loehr,  R.C.,  D.A.  Haith,  M.F.   Walter,  andC.S.   Martin,   Eds.  Best
           Management Practices for Agriculture and Silviculture.   Proceedings
           of the 1978 Cornell Agricultural Waste Management  Conference;   Ann
           Arbor Science, Ann Arbor, Michigan.  740pp.