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State Approaches and Needs for Measuring, Tracking, and Reporting on Water Quality Improvements

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In 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded a project to collect information on how states are measuring and demonstrating water quality improvements and attainment with water quality standards for use in reporting measures such as National Water Program Guidance Measure SP-12. EPA has asked states to meet 2012 reporting goals for Measure SP-12. The national goal is to provide Measure SP-12 reports on at least 250 watersheds by 2012; this goal is broken down into EPA region specific reporting targets (e.g., 5 per state).

Achieving Measure SP-12 goals will require a collaborative effort on the part of EPA, state agencies, and local partners. The goal of this report is to present a synthesis of key technical, programmatic, and resource information obtained from the nine states on current approaches and state needs for measuring and demonstrating water quality improvements and attainment with water quality standards for SP-12 Watersheds (and all watersheds in general); further, in response to challenges identified and request made by the participating states, this report also provides strategic planning recommendations for supporting effectiveness monitoring, tracking, and assessment. Specifically, this report includes the following:

A summary of how each of nine states is measuring and demonstrating water quality improvements and attainment with water quality standards for SP-12 Watersheds, as well as other watersheds;


An overview of the type of data being used by states to satisfy reporting requirements for Measure SP-12 and other performance measures;


Existing protocols, approaches, and viable options for effectiveness monitoring while considering the diverse geographic, land use, and pollutant sources found in the interviewed states;


Potential options for combining existing monitoring and assessments efforts to address reporting needs for multiple various performance measures;


Recommendations and feedback on issues, challenges, and needs identified by the states.
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Keywords: Measure SP-12; TMDL; effectiveness monitoring; performance measures

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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