Thesis (M.S., Water Resources)--University of Idaho, June 2014 | Improvements in surface water quality require full understanding of the impacts of climate, land use, soils, and topography. An interdisciplinary approach was used to understand how to achieve reductions in pollutant loads. Chapter 1 analyzes extreme erosion events based on spatial, temporal, and climatic factors in Paradise Creek, Idaho. Peak discharge, event duration, and antecedent moisture conditions explained most of the variation in sediment load. Chapter 2 is a thorough literature review on effectiveness of agricultural best management practices, and presents a conceptual framework for identifying such practices for respective dominant hydrologic flow paths. Chapter 3 assesses the function and dynamics of collaborative stakeholder groups within three watersheds that have successfully reduced pollutant levels. Participants saw monitoring and data collection as the ultimate measure of success, despite funding constraints, lag time of pollutant response, and the inability to attribute successes to a specific entity or action.