The Environmental Protection Agency and 14 universities are receiving $5.2 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to research methods of maintaining and improving water supplies and healthy watershed habitats.
"Developing science-based information on water quality issues is critical for America's producers and consumers," Ag Secretary Ed Schafer says. "These grants will help us understand the sources and work of microorganisms in water used in agricultural production, which is critical to maintaining a safe food supply."
The program seeks to reduce pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa, in waters derived from agricultural and rural watersheds, as well as maintain adequate water supplies for agricultural crop and livestock production and rural use. The Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service is administering the grants that will fund projects ranging from studying how pathogenic bacteria travel through the ground and in irrigations pipes to the effect of roadside ditches on reservoir pollution. For more information, visit www.csrees.usda.gov.