Poteau river, Arkansas, Lake Wister Watershed, land cover
Nonpoint source pollution associated with human land use (agriculture and urbanization) is one of the leading causes of impairment to waterways in the United States (EPA 2000). The primary pollutants associated with agricultural and urban land use are sediment and nutrients which enter nearby streams during rain events and are then carried downstream. These sediments and nutrients may result in water quality issues in the downstream water bodies like increased algal growth or decreased water clarity (e.g. Smith et al., 1999). Best management practices (BMPs) are often used to mitigate the effects of nonpoint source pollution in the watershed. Practices such as riparian buffers installed along the edge of field and conservation tillage (e.g., no-till, spring-till, and cover crops) slow overland flow, reducing erosion and nutrient loss from the landscape (Schoumans et al. 2014). Installing BMPs throughout the entire watershed would have the greatest effect at reducing nonpoint source pollution; however, this is not socially or economically feasible. Targeting critical source areas or priority watersheds for BMPs installation, optimizes the benefits while reducing the overall (Sharpley et al. 2000).
Austin, Bradley J.; Smith, Brina A.; and Haggard, Brian E.. 2019. Stream Water Quality to Support HUC 12 Prioritization in the Lake Wister Watershed, Oklahoma: August 2017 through May 2019. Arkansas Water Resource Center, Fayetteville, AR. MSC389. 29