The goal of mitigation is to reduce nitrate levels in groundwater so that it is safe to drink. The key is to engage the local community in problem solving to develop solutions. Target groups include farmers, crop advisers, fertilizer retailers, and farm organizations. The MDA uses the following process:

  1. Form local Advisory Team (Advisory Team);
  2. Select a project lead and develop a work plan;
  3. Establish a local nitrate monitoring network capable of producing long term trends;
  4. Hold a public information meeting(s) for farmers and other interested parties;
  5. Select the right set of nitrogen best management practices (BMPs) to implement in the area;
  6. Conduct an initial survey of BMP adoption;
  7. Consider Alternative Management Tools (AMTs) in high risk areas;
  8. Assess the need for demonstration projects based on results from BMP adoption survey;
  9. Develop a plan for educational activities based on results from BMP adoption survey;
  10. Assist with obtaining funding for implementing the selected BMPs and AMTs;
  11. Work with farmers to implement selected BMPs;
  12. Conduct a follow up survey of BMP adoption after three growing seasons of implementation;
  13. Evaluate BMP adoption; and
  14. Determine appropriate mitigation level using nitrate concentration and BMP adoption criteria.