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Water Quality Guidance Documents


These publications require Adobe Acrobat.

A Prodedure to Estimate the Response of Aquatic Systems to Changes in Phosphorus and Nitrogen Inputs
Provides a simple tool to estimate waterbody sensitivity to nutrients. Useable by field conservationists, partners, and landowners with little prior educational background, it incorporates educational material that will raise the awareness and knowledge level of field conservationists. Management recommendations by type of waterbody are provided along with general recommendations for subsequent analysis. CITATION: Natural Resources Conservation Service. 1999. A Procedure to Estimate the Response of Aquatic systems to Changes in Phosphorus and Nitrogen Inputs. NRCS West National Technology Support Center, Portland, OR.

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Stream Visual Assessment Protocol
Provides a simple procedure to evaluate the condition of a stream based on visual characteristics. It is designed for use by landowners and conservationists in the field. The protocol provides an overall assessment of the condition of the stream and riparian ecosystems, identifies opportunities to enhance biological value, and conveys information on how streams function and the importance of protecting or restoring stream and riparian areas. The assessment can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes and no prior training in biology or hydrology is required. CITATION: Natural Resources Conservation Service. 1998. Stream Visual Assessment Protocol. NWCC-TN-99-1. West National Technology Support Center, Portland, OR

DOWNLOAD Select Here for a PDF version of the document (44 pages; 309KB)

National Water Quality Handbook
As stated in its introduction, this handbook is the principal NRCS water quality reference regarding all agricultural land uses. The handbook is the definitive NRCS resource for water quality technical information, guidance, and procedures.

National Water Quality Handbook (8.8 MB)

EDGE-OF-FIELD Water Quality Monitoring Data Collection and Evaluation Conservation Activity (Code 201)
Water quality monitoring and evaluation under this conservation activity standard are the actions and activities, using acceptable tools and protocols, by which a producer will measure the effectiveness of conservation practices and systems. Evaluation of conservation practice effectiveness through edge-of-field monitoring will lead to a better understanding of constituent loading and will assist NRCS and participants in adapting or validating the application of conservation measures.

DOWNLOAD Select Here for a PDF version of the document (43 pages; 4.88 MB)

EDGE-OF-FIELD Water Quality Monitoring System Installation Conservation Activity (Code 202)
This conservation activity standard addresses the system installation associated with edge-of-field water quality monitoring.

DOWNLOAD Select Here for a PDF version of the document (16 pages, 498 KB)

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