Missouri Agricultural Watershed Assessment (MAWA)


This project is a technical assistance cooperative agreement between the Missouri State Office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Ozarks Environmental and Water Resources Institute (OEWRI) at Missouri State University (MSU).  The purpose of this project is to perform 15, 12-digit hydrologic unit code (HUC) watershed assessments in priority agricultural watersheds within Missouri over a three year period (2018-2021). These assessments are part of the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) and the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) aimed at reducing nutrients and sediment in the nation’s rivers and streams that flow to the Gulf of Mexico.  The goal of these programs is for the NRCS and its partners to work with landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices that will improve water quality in high-priority watersheds while maintaining agricultural productivity. 


The specific objectives of this assessment are to:

1) Complete a comprehensive inventory of existing data in each watershed including information related to geology, soils, hydrology, climate, land use, and any existing water quality monitoring data available;

2) Perform a resource assessment of each watershed that includes analysis of the data gathered in the watershed inventory that includes identification of nonpoint source pollutants, water quality impairments, rainfall-runoff characteristics, and analysis of stream bank conditions; and

3) Provide NRCS staff with information on the resource concerns within each watershed, specific field conditions that contribute the most to the water quality impairment, and what conservation practices should be implemented for the existing conditions to get the most water quality benefit. 

The final product will be a report that describes the methods and results of the assessment along with recommendations on where conservation practices should be implemented that will allow NRCS field staff to plan and target specific areas in the watershed. 



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Missouri State Office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)