Water Quality and Quantity Studies

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Water Quality and Quantity Studies

CRP improves water quality in multiple ways. It reduces the nitrogen and phosphorus leaving a field in runoff and percolate. Grass filters and riparian buffers (partial field enrollments) intercept sediment, nutrients, and other contaminants before they enter waterways. Wetlands restored and constructed by CRP improve water quality by converting nitrate/nitrogen into benign atmospheric nitrogen. Additionally, the CRP provides hydrologic storage, attenuates flood waters, and helps recharge aquifers.

Reports from MAE studies that measure water quality and quantity benefits are listed below. Click the title to view the report.

Project Reports and Articles




Quantifying the Effectiveness of Installing Saturated Buffers on Conservation Reserve Program to Reduce Nutrient Loading from Tile Drainage Waters (4 MB, PDF)

Brooks and Jaynes


Neonicotinoid insecticide removal by prairie strips in row-cropped watersheds with historical seed coating use (1 MB, PDF)

Hladik, Bradbury, Schulte, Helmers, Witte, Kolpin, Garrett, and Harris2017

Land use effects on pesticides in sediments of prairie pothole wetlands in North and South Dakota (947 KB, PDF)

McMurry, Belden, Smith, Morrison, Daniel, Euliss, Euliss, Kensinger, and Tangen


The cost effectiveness of wetlands designed and sited for nitrate removal: The effect of increased efficiency, rising easement costs and lower interest rates

Hyberg, Iovanna, Crumpton, and Richmond


Demonstrate and Evaluate Saturated Buffers at Field Scale to Reduce Nitrates and Phosphorous from Subsurface Field Drainage Systems (30 MB, PDF)

Utt, Jaynes, and Albertsen


Conservation Reserve Program Damage Reduction Benefits to Downstream Urban Areas (10 MB, PDF)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


CRP Effects on the Ogallala Aquifer (4 MB, PDF)

Mulligan, Barbato, Seshadri, Rainwater, and Smith


Saturated Thickness and Water in Storage in the High Plains Aquifer, 2009, and Water-Level Changes and Changes in Water in Storage in the High Plains Aquifer, 1980 to 1995, 1995 to 2000, 2000 to 2005, and 2005 to 2009 (3 MB, PDF)

McGuire, Lund, and Densmore


Treatment Wetlands: Cost-Effective Practice for Intercepting Nitrate Before it Reaches and Adversely Impacts Surface (733 KB, PDF)

Iovanna, Hyberg, and Crumpton


Potential Benefits of Wetlands for Tile Drainage Systems: Impact on Nitrate Loads to Mississippi River Sub-basins (3 MB, PDF)

Crumpton, Stenback, Miller, and Helmers