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A Tools and Resources Website for Assessing Restorability of Impaired Waters

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Recovery potential screening is a comparative, flexible assessment methodology for comparing large numbers of waters or watersheds based on their relative restorability. This paper tours the Recovery Potential Screening website, currently an EPA draft site in review, at The site is built around a flexible, step-by-step screening methodology set up for state and other practitioners to customize for their programs. Tools linked to the methodology include a 1600+ citation database, referencing literature about driving factors that affect restorability. Sixty indicators developed for use in recovery potential screening are documented on the site, including relevant excerpts from the literature, measurement options and links to data sources. A downloadable, coded spreadsheet organizes, weights and normalizes indicator data and auto-calculates recovery potential summary scores. A downloadable 3D bubble-plotting script transforms ecological, stressor and social indicator sub-scores into a display method that allows for perceiving these three main influences on restorability separately but simultaneously. The site also offers several demonstration project summaries, published papers on recovery potential screening, and links to other priority-setting sites and resources.

Keywords: 303(d); Clean Water Act; Recovery potential; TMDL; Watershed; impaired water; priority-setting; restoration; website

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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