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The main purpose of this Web site is to provide an information-based, systematic approach for comparing waters or watersheds and identifying those more likely to respond well to restoration. Originally, this approach was developed as a technical aid to states concerning their Clean Water Act requirement to "develop a prioritized schedule" identifying the order in which they plan to develop and implement Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for their Section 303(d)-listed impaired waters. This flexible approach, however, can be applied throughout a wide range of water and watershed comparisons. Rather than a 'one-size-fits-all' procedure, this site offers a flexible framework of methods, tools, technical information and instructional examples that can be customized for any impaired waters restoration program in any geographic locality. When used with existing data, it also provides a relatively rapid assessment and comparison method.
The tens of thousands of impaired waters found nationwide represent an immense workload. No restoration program, public or private, has the resources to work on all impaired waters at once. Well-informed planning is essential. Optimizing the order in which waters are restored can produce earlier and more successes and have profound effects on overall restoration success and its benefits to society and the environment. The concept of recovery potential - briefly, the restorability of a water body - is central to this Web site's approach. Recovery potential should be a primary consideration in restoration programs whose main goal is to bring about recovery.
Contact: Doug Norton