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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evapotranspiration Effects on Water Quality

Authors
item Hatfield, Jerry
item Prueger, John
item Reicosky, Donald

Submitted to: International Evapotranspiration Irrigation Scheduling Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 4, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Evapotranspiration is the largest component of the overall water balance and is responsible for the movement of water from the soil profile into the atmosphere. Water is a solvent that moves many of the chemicals and nutrients from agricultural fields to offsite locations. This offsite movement causes much concern in terms of the quality of drinking water and the impact of agricultural practices on the environment. There are two paths of water movement that contribute to offsite impacts, leaching through the soil profile and surface runoff. In order to understand the management possibilities, it must first be recognized that the water balance is a year-round process and not just during the growing season. While components of the water balance are in a continuous state of flux, the spatial and temporal variation of these components are very complex. Management of the water balance to reduce surface runoff could potentially increase leaching and conversely, increasing the storage in the soil profile may increase the potential for surface runoff. There are many opportunities to manage the water resources through soil and plant management.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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