Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program

About Nonpoint Source Pollution 

The Bureau of Water Quality Planning is responsible for managing nonpoint sources of pollution in Nevada. Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution results from a variety of diffuse and dispersed human activities.

Stream trampled by livestock

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters.

Although it is the leading cause of water quality problems in Nevada, controlling NPS pollution remains a challenge. Sources are difficult to locate and the effects of NPS pollutants on specific waters vary and may not always be fully assessed. However, we do know that these pollutants can have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries, and wildlife.

Nevada’s Nonpoint Source State Management Plan was updated and approved in 2015.

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