Managing Livestock Grazing on Watersheds Supplying Drinking Water

Tim Koopmann, Water Resource Specialist and Manager Emeritus, San Francisco PUC

Ken Tate, Professor and CE Specialist in Rangeland Watershed Sciences, UC Davis

About 80% of California’s surface water supply is either derived from, or stored on grazed rangeland watersheds. Concerns about linkages between livestock as a source of the waterborne pathogen Cryptosporidium parvum, contamination of drinking water, and risks to public health began to arise in the 1990s – following a series of epidemics across the nation. Most municipal water treatment systems do not completely remove this tiny parasite from source waters, making proactive watershed management to prevent pollution essential.  Tim Koopmann and Ken Tate will discuss the partnerships between watershed managers, researchers, municipal water providers, and water quality protection agencies that have led to practical, effective, science-based grazing strategies to safe-guard public health.

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