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This technology assessment makes use of several terms and abbreviations. In
order to be precise in the use of terms, the following definitions are provided:
- Sustainability - Seeking to meet the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to
meet their own needs.
- Pointsource - Pollution from a geographically
localized discharge. For example, a smokestack represents an atmospheric
pointsource, and a sewage treatment plant represents an aquatic pointsource.
- Non-pointsource - Pollution from a geographically
distributed discharge. For example, land application of fertilizers is a
non-pointsource discharge of nitrogen and other nutrients.
- Effluent - Any pollution-containing discharge of water from an
engineered process such as irrigation, industrial production, or municipal
- Aquifer - A porous subterranean region saturated with groundwater.
- Surface water - Water available in streams, rivers, lakes and
- Best management practices (BMPs) - Ways in which agricultural
production methods can be altered to minimize negative water impacts.