SWEEP (Soil and Water Environmental Enhancement program)

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The Soil and Water Environmental Enhancement Program, or SWEEP, was a Canadian agricultural program administered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and carried out by the province of Ontario. Designed to examine the effects of tillage on many types of soil, the program ran from 1986 through 1988.

URL: http://agrienvarchive.ca/sweep/sweephom.html


The impetus for the program was the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, calling for a reduction in phosphorus pollution in the Lake Erie basin of 2000 tonnes per year. Canada agreed to reduce phosphorus run-off by 300 tonnes per year—200 from agricultural cropland sources and 100 from industrial and municipal sources by 1990.

The achievement of these reductions over five years would improve water quality for drinking, recreation and fishing. Improved soil conservation practices to reduce phosphorus run-off would benefit farmers greatly in crop yield increases and in cost savings from more efficient soil management. In order to accomplish the program objectives, Canada and Ontario carried out five year programs of coordinated and complementary activities with farmers, farm and other organizations. These programs were intended to build up a stock of technology that could be extended to farmers now and in the future.

The Program Objectives of SWEEP were:

1. To reduce phosphorus loading in the Lake Erie basin by 200 tonnes per year by 1990, from non-point agricultural cropland sources.

2. To maintain or improve the productivity of southwestern Ontario agriculture by reducing or arresting soil erosion and degradation.

See related Ontario Agri-Environmental Archive: http://agrienvarchive.ca/

See Related Clean Up Rural Beaches (C.U.R.B.) Program (1991–1996): http://agrienvarchive.ca/curb/curb.html

See Related: PLUARG (Pollution from Land Use Activities Reference Group, International Joint Commission on the Great Lakes Basin)(1972–1979):

http://agrienvarchive.ca/pluarg/pluarg.html (more than 80 PDF reports available)

The PLUARG study program consisted of four major tasks as outlined in the Reference Group's February 1974 "Detailed Study Plan to assess Great Lakes Pollution from Land Use Activities".

TASK A is devoted to the collection and assessment of management and research information and, in its later stages to the critical analysis of implications of potential recommendations.

TASK B is first, the preparation of a land-use and land-use practices inventory, largely from existing data, and, second, the analysis of trends and projections in land-use patterns and practices to 1980 and, if possible, to 2020. The present land use report is to be completed in 1974, and a report on trends to be completed in 1975. The Task B report for the Canadian part of the Great Lakes Basin is contained in five volumes: Volume I Canadian Great Lakes Basin Summary; Volume II Lake Superior Basin; Volume III Lake Huron Basin; Volume IV Lake Erie Basin; Volume V Lake Ontario Basin

TASK C is the detailed survey of selected watersheds to determine the sources of pollutants, their relative significance and the assessment of the degree of transmission of pollutants to boundary waters. See details of this Task below. (See Task "C" Reports)

TASK D is to:

1. obtain supplementary information on the inputs of materials to the boundary waters, their effect on water quality and their significance in these waters in the future and under alternative management schemes."

2. diagnose the degree of impairment of water quality in the Great Lakes, including assessment of concentrations of contaminants of concern in sediments, fish and other aquatic resources. Activities during 1974 - 1976. (See Task "D" Reports)

See related ManureNet Canada site at: http://manurenet.ca/