To monitor and meet water quality objectives, it is necessary to understand and quantify the contribution of nonpoint sources to total phosphorus (P) loading to surface waters. However, the contribution of streambank erosion to surface water P loads remains unclear and is typically unaccounted for in many nutrient loading assessments and policies. As a result, agricultural contributions of P are overestimated, and a potentially manageable nonpoint source of P is missed in strategies to reduce loads. In this perspective, we review and synthesize the results of a special symposium at the 2022 ASA-CSSA-SSSA annual meeting in Baltimore, MD, that focused on streambank erosion and its contributions to P loading of surface waters. Based on discussions among researchers and policy experts, we overview the knowns and unknowns, propose next steps to understand streambank erosion contribution to P export budgets, and discuss implications of the science of streambank erosion for policy and nutrient loss reduction strategies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Water Science and Technology
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Environmental Engineering