Study of nonpoint-source (NPS) nutrient loading in Maryland has focused on the Patuxent watershed because of its importance and representativeness of conditions in the State. Evaluation of NPS nutrient loading has been comprehensive and has included long-term monitoring, detailed watershed modeling, and synoptic sampling studies. A large amount of information has been compiled for the watershed and that information is being used to identify primary controls and efficient management strategies for NPS nutrient loading. Results of the Patuxent NPS study have identified spatial trends in water quality that appear to be related to basin charcteristics such as land use, physiography, andgeology. Evaluation of the data compiled by the study components is continuing and is expected to provide more detailed assessments of the reasons for spatial trends. In particular, ongoing evaluation of the watershed model output is expected to provide detailed information on the relative importance of nutrient sources and transport pathways across the entire watershed. Planned future directions of NPS evaluation in the State of Maryland include continued study of water quality in the Patuxent watershed and a shift in emphasis to a statewide approach. Eventually, the statewide approach will become the primary approach usedby the State to evaluate NPS loading. The information gained in the Patuxent study and the tools developed will represent valuable assets indeveloping the statewide NPS assessment program.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Study of nonpoint source nutrient loading in the Patuxent River basin, Maryland
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey,