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Report Released: Measuring Water Quality Improvements: TMDL Implementation Progress, Indicators, and Tracking

Posted Aug, 25, 2011
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Released in late June of 2011, Measuring Water Quality Improvements: TMDL Implementation Progress, Indicators, and Tracking expands upon the findings published in the Center’s 2008 report, Implementing Total Maximum Daily Loads: Understanding and Fostering Successful Results.  The 2008 report was widely distributed by the US Environmental Protection Agency through their website.

Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) set the amount of pollutant that a water body can receive and still comply with water quality standards.  They also allocate pollutant loading reductions among pollution sources; reductions that are needed to bring water bodies into compliance with water quality standards.  While there has been significant progress in   developing these TMDLs, information is lacking regarding the extent to which recommended pollutant reductions are  being implemented.

This report summarizes and synthesizes recent studies that assess progress in implementing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and describes indicators that can be used to understand progress in watershed restoration.  It also explores efforts to improve the ability of state and federal agencies to document progress in TMDL implementation.  The report also offers recommendations to guide future efforts to develop and use indicators of TMDL implementation and watershed restoration progress to help foster improvements in water quality throughout the US.  Click here to access the full report.