Skip to main content

Using Social Indicators to Identify Challenges and Opportunities facing the Implementation of TMDL Reducing Agricultural BMPs

Buy Article:

$17.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial


Wisconsin's Lower Fox River Watershed is located in the northeastern part of the state and includes a very high concentration of dairy farms along with the cities of Green Bay and Appleton. Consequently, the water quality of the Lower Fox River and its tributaries has been substantially impaired by high sediment and total phosphorus loads. Since agricultural practices are a substantial source of these nonpoint (NPS) source pollutants, reduction of TMDLs in this watershed, as with many watersheds, is highly contingent on the willingness and ability of agricultural producers to implement NPS reducing best management practices (BMPs). To assess potential challenges and opportunities for implementation, farmers in the watershed were surveyed in the fall of 2007. This survey collected demographic and farm data as well as measured several indicators aimed at understanding farmer awareness, attitudes, behaviors and constraints regarding pollutants in the watershed and specific BMPs designed to reduce them. In addition, all farms were georeferenced in the watershed using GIS.

Analysis of this data produced several outcomes. First it gauged overall attitudes and awareness of pollution in the Lower Fox River Watershed. Second, it identified barriers to and opportunities for the implementation of specific agricultural BMPs. Third, it provided unique comparisons between subgroups of farmers based on the farm sizes, types and current implementation of BMPs. Taken together, these outcomes provided substantial insight into the potential for reducing TMDLs in the watershed as well as specific targets for outreach.

This presentation will focus on the design of social indicators created for this survey, results obtained from survey administration and conclusions reached through analysis. While specific results of this study are unique to the Lower Fox River Watershed, this presentation will address how this methodology can be potentially used in other geographic regions as well as in urban settings. In addition, the potential for integrating social indicator data with TMDL models will be discussed briefly.

Keywords: Agricultural Pollution; Best Management Practices; Education; Outreach; Social Indicators; Survey Methodology

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation includes access to most papers presented at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) and other conferences held since 2000. Subscription access begins 12 months after the event and is valid for 12 months from month of purchase. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is included in Water Environment Federation (WEF) membership.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access. Access begins 12 months after the conference or event
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Learn about the many other WEF member benefits and join today
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more