Water has many uses ranging from drinking to fishing to swimming to irrigation to wildlife habitat to livestock watering. Not only must the water be good enough to meet these purposes, but there must also be enough of it. Our choices affect our water quality. We must choose to use best management practices that enhance our water such as grazing systems, conservation tillage, streambank stabilization, grassed waterways, tree plantings, terraces, strip cropping, nutrient management systems, etc.
 

Water Resource Concerns

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Weather Resilience

Ponding and Flooding

Runoffs move water and any contaminants across the soil service, which can cause soil erosion. Water can flood or pond therefore restricting plant growth and land use.

Surface water or poor subsurface drainage restricts land use and management goals. Runoff likely leads to soil erosion, while flooding and ponding will lead to loss of crop productivity.

Seasonal High Water Table

Water tables are underground areas that are the level at which soil is completely saturated with water. They are the boundaries between water-saturated ground and unsaturated ground. There is often some seasonal change in the water tables, due to rain or drought. Water tables can become elevated when they receive more rain than they can drain. Surface water or poor subsurface drainage restricts land use, management goals, and plant productivity.

Seeps

Seeps are moist or wet areas where water has oozed from the ground to the surface, appearing as small water holes or wet spots. Surface water or poor subsurface drainage can lead to restrictive land usage and management goals.

Drifted Snow

Wind blown snow accumulates around and over surface structures, which restricts access to humans or animals; or wind removes snow from desired location where it can be used to accumulate water.

Naturally Available Moisture Use

Natural precipitation is not optimally managed to support desired land use goals or ecological processes.

Source Water Depletion

Surface Water Depletion

Water from collected precipitation runoff, ponds, lakes, surface watercourses and reservoirs is used
at a rate that is detrimental to ecological functions or other identified uses and threatens sustained availability of surface water.

Groundwater Depletion

Underground water is used at a rate greater than aquifer recharge.

Inefficient Irrigation Water Use

Effective irrigation use can influence the entire growth process. However, problems can occur if irrigation water is not stored, delivered, scheduled, and/or applied efficiently.  Aquifer or surface water withdrawals threaten sustained availability of ground or surface water. Aquifer refers to a body of saturated rock through which water can easily move through.

Available irrigation water supplies have been reduced due to aquifer depletion, competition, regulation, and/or drought.

Field Sediment, Nutrient and Pathogen Loss

Nutrients Transported to Surface Water

Nutrients (organic and inorganic) stored, concentrated, or applied are transported to receiving surface waters in quantities that degrade water quality and limit its use for intended purposes.

Nutrients Transported to Groundwater

Nutrients (organic and inorganic) stored, concentrated, or applied are transported to ground waters in quantities that degrade water quality and limit its use for intended purposes.

Pathogens and Chemicals from Manure, Biosolids or Compost Applications

Pathogens, pharmaceuticals, leachate, and chemicals from manure, biosolids or compost transported to receiving waters in quantities that degrade water quality and limit uses.

Sediment Transported to Surface Water

Offsite transport of sediment to surface water degrades water quality and limits use for intended purposes.

Field Pesticide Loss

Pesticides Transported to Surface Water

Pesticides are lost from their application area and transported to surface water sources in quantities that degrade water quality and limit its use for intended purposes.

Pesticides Transported to Groundwater

Pesticides loses from the application area are transported to ground water sources in quantities that degrade water quality and limit its use for intended purposes.

Storage and Handling of Pollutants

Nutrients Transported to Surface Water

Nutrients (organic and inorganic) stored, concentrated, or applied are transported to receiving surface waters in quantities that degrade water quality and limit its use for intended purposes.

Nutrients Transported to Groundwater

Nutrients (organic and inorganic) stored, concentrated, or applied are transported to ground waters in quantities that degrade water quality and limit its use for intended purposes.

Petroleum, Heavy Metals and Other Pollutants Transported to Surface Water

Petroleum, heavy metals, and other chemical pollutants for on-farm use are lost from areas of concentration (handling, storage, or processing facilities and areas) to receiving surface waters in quantities that degrade water quality and limits its use for intended purposes. This resource concern does not cover pathogens/manure, sediment (although sediment contaminated with petroleum, heavy metals, or other chemical pollutants would be covered), nor naturally occurring salts.

Petroleum, Heavy Metals and Other Pollutants Transported to Groundwater

Petroleum, heavy metals, and other chemical pollutants for on-farm use are lost from areas of concentration (handling, storage, or processing facilities and areas) to receiving ground water in quantities that degrade water quality and limit its use for intended purposes. This resource concern does not cover pathogens/manure, sediment (although sediment contaminated with petroleum, heavy metals, or other chemical pollutants would be covered), nor naturally occurring salts.

Salt Losses to Water

Salts Transported to Surface Water

Irrigation or rainfall runoff transports salts to receiving surface waters in quantities that degrade water quality and limit use for intended purposes.

Salts Transported to Groundwater

Irrigation or rainfall infiltration transports salts to ground water in quantities that degrade water quality and limit use for intended purposes.

South Dakota Department of Agriculture
South Dakota Department of Agriculture