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Addressing Nitrate in California’s Drinking Water Technical Report 3: Nitrogen Source Reduction to Protect Groundwater Quality

Kristin Dzurella, Josué Medellín-Azuara, Vivian B. Jensen, Aaron King, Nicole De La Mora, Anna Fryjoff-Hung, Todd S. Rosenstock, Thomas Harter, Richard Howitt, Allan D. Hollander, Jeannie Darby, Katrina Jessoe, Jay R. Lund, G. Stuart Pettygrove | July 2nd, 2012

Although reduction of anthropogenic loading of nitrate to groundwater aquifers will not reduce contamination in the short term (due to long travel times), reduction efforts are a critical component of any long term solution to the problem of high nitrate in drinking water. Technologies are available for reducing the transfer of nitrate to groundwater from surface sources. Such technologies involve (1) reducing the amount of nitrogen (N) discharged or applied to the land and (2) controlling the amount of water applied to land which serves as the carrier of nitrate. Many of these source control methods require changes in land management and upgrading of infrastructure.


agricultural drainage, Central Valley, coastal aquifers, drinking water, groundwater contamination, Groundwater Exchange, nitrates, water quality

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