Water Quality and Agriculture
Iowa is a dominantly agricultural state, with 60% of the land area in row-crop production and receiving agricultural-chemical application. The routine use of agricultural chemicals has led to nitrate and pesticide contamination of surface water and groundwater from both nonpoint sources (such as routine use on crop fields or lawns) and point sources (such as chemical spills). Iowa's approach to addressing water quality concerns has been a coordinated education, demonstration, and research program to address the problems of water quality and agriculture. The Geological Survey Bureau has been involved in a myriad of water quality and agricultural studies of local, state, and regional importance. Below are listed some of the projects that have aided in our understanding of nonpoint source pollution and the movement of nitrate and pesticides through various geologic materials.