OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

The Effects of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations on Water Quality in the Santa Ana Watershed


The detrimental environmental effects of Concentrated Animal Farming Operations (CAFOs) are widely recognized, especially in the impairment of water. Animal waste is a sources of contaminants and pathogens consequently causing many environmental and human health issues. The purpose of this study is to understand how CAFOs effects water quality in the Santa Ana Watershed. Specifically, the research spatially analyzes and discusses the association of proximity of CAFOs sites to water impairment area. In order to asses these trends, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to map CAFOs sites, surface water quality data and streams under the 303d impaired waters listed, to investigate trends in distribution of pollutants in relation to CAFOs locations. The findings suggest that the proximity of CAFOs are contributing to pollution inputs into streams and degrading surface water. This study particularly analyzes the clusters of water impairment, in an aim to protect water resources through various management strategies. The management of these farming operations are key to understanding how ecosystems are being degraded and help determine which management practices are most detrimental to human health.

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