Nonpoint source pollution (NPS) is diffuse discharges of pollutants throughout the natural environment. As water from rainfall, snowmelt, irrigation, or human activities moves over and through the ground it can pick up and carry away natural and synthetic pollutants, eventually depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and underground sources of drinking water.
Irrigated agriculture is a significant source of surface water and groundwater NPS pollution in California.
This reference sheet outlines kinds of NPS that are commonly the result of irrigated agriculture.
This is reference sheet 9.1 in the Farm Water Quality Planning series.
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