Population pressure counteracts best management practices

All nutrient resources must be targeted to improve the health of the Chesapeake bay.
Population changes for the Chesapeake Bay watershed from 1990 to 2040.

The population within the Chesapeake Bay watershed is increasing quickly. The watershed is currently home to over 17.8 million people, and this number is projected to reach 20 million by 2030. Of that 17.8 million, 6 million reside within Maryland, which is projected to increase to 7 million by 2040. As the population grows, development will expand and with it, impervious surfaces, storm water runoff, wastewater treatment effluent volume, vehicle use, and lawn fertilizer applications. These development-related pressures will degrade water quality within the watershed unless they are mitigated by effective best management practices (BMPs). A multitude of BMPs are in place, but increasing development may counteract the water quality benefits that would have otherwise been observed.