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Approximately 71% of the great lakes, lakes, reservoirs, and ponds, together with 51% of rivers and streams assessed in the US are impaired or threatened by pollution or do not meet the minimum water quality requirements. Pathogens, sediments, and nutrients

Approximately 71% of the great lakes, lakes, reservoirs, and ponds, together with 51% of rivers and streams assessed in the US are impaired or threatened by pollution or do not meet the minimum water quality requirements. Pathogens, sediments, and nutrients are leading causes of impairment, with agriculture being a top source of pollution. Agricultural pollution has become a global concern overtaking urban contamination as the major factor of inland and coastal waters degradation in many parts of the world. High-yielding crop production has been achieved by the intensive use of inorganic fertilizers that are mainly composed of Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P). N and P are essential nutrients for ecosystem structure, processes, and functions. However, N and P in excess can be problematic to the environment. One of the major impacts of the increasing amount of these nutrients in the environment is the global expansion of harmful algal blooms (HABs). Major agricultural nutrient pollution sources and climate change can exacerbate these risks. This dissertation aims to guide future policies to mitigate issues linked to excess nutrient loads in the U.S. by evaluating the impact of climate change on nutrient loads and assessing the environmental impact as well as the spatial patterns of one of the major agricultural sources of nutrient pollution - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Specifically, I first investigated the impact of bias correction techniques when modeling mid-century nutrient loads in a watershed heavily impacted by CAFOs. Second, I evaluated the role of CAFOs in land use change and subsequent environmental degradation of the surrounding environment. Finally, I assessed the spatial organization of CAFOs and its links to water quality conditions. The findings revealed unique insights for future nutrient management strategies in the U.S.
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    Title
    • Nutrient Load Modeling in the U.S.: Novel Considerations for Future Management
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    Date Created
    2021
    Resource Type
  • Text
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    • Partial requirement for: Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2021
    • Field of study: Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering

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