This page contains information intended to make the transition
to ADBv.2 for the next cycle as smooth as possible. The following
items will provide a general description of the ADB and how it
relates to the 2008 Integrated Reporting Guidance. For more
information about the new data elements required by the new guidance
Elements Required for V.2
information about ADB v.2
You can learn more about the features of ADB v.2 by clicking on
Features in ADB
The new Guidance requests that States
provide two documents, one that describes the State's Monitoring
Strategy and one that details that State's Assessment
Methodology. It is a good idea to go ahead and prepare these
documents. It is also recommended that you document your assumptions
or your use of the existing codes when preparing assessment data
elements. Your State's Assessment Methodology document is a
good place to do this.
Assessment Unit ID
Assessment Unit Name
Assessment Unit Location
Data Elements that are required for v.2
The ADB v.2 uses a collection of cause and source codes. These
codes are designed to be compatible with other EPA database systems
like STORET and PCS. To View a complete list of the new Cause and
Source codes visit http://www.epa.gov/waters/adb/docs.htm.
Additionally, the ADB v.2 requires linkages between uses and causes
and causes and sources to track the relationships between sources,
causes and overall water quality.
The message for potential ADB users is use specific cause and
source codes whenever possible. The ADB v.2 will not allow you to
use general causes, like "Metals", so make sure you use specific
causes like "Mercury". This same message holds true for sources.
There is no code for "Agriculture" in the ADB v.2, so you will need
to be more specific and use codes like "Confined Animal Feeding
ADB v.2 uses State Designated Uses that are entered in EPA's
WQSDB. You can access the WQSDB at http://www.epa.gov/wqsdatabase/
to see the designated uses in the WQSDB for your state. Since the
WQSDB will not be updated in the future any changes in uses from
what is currently in the database must be supported by the state's
WQS document and be approved by your EPA region.
If you are using the designated use categories that
correspond to uses in the WQSDB, you should document how these uses
translate to the State designated uses described in the State's
Water Quality Standards document. This will allow your data to be
ported correctly into the ADB v.2. For example, if you are using the
Fish Consumption designated use as a surrogate for Cold Water
Aquatic Life Use, document that. Or, if there is not a specific Fish
Consumption Use specified in your standards, but it's included in
another standard, like Recreation or Aquatic Life Use, document
There is no Overall Use in ADB v.2. If you are
using Overall Use and it represents designated uses in your
standards, make sure you document it. Otherwise, it will be lost
during the porting process.
Another designation worth mentioning is
Antidegradation waters. Unless this is explicitly
defined as a use in your State water quality standards, you will not
be able to assign it as a Designated Use in ADB v.2. If you wish to
store information about antidegradation waters or special resource
waters that are not designated by the WQSDB, you will need to create
a separate table. Use Support
The Use Support categories in ADB v.2 are
If your State has been using "Threatened", "Partially
Supporting", and "Not Attainable", then you need to document how
these use support categories should be reassigned in ADB v.2. By
default, "Partially Supporting" waters will become "Not Supporting"
and "Not Attainable" will become "Not Assessed".
"Threatened" is no longer a use support category, but any use can
be marked as threatened. For example, a use can be "Fully
Supporting" and "Threatened". Waters with a "Threatened" use in ADB
v.2 are treated the same as waters not supporting a use for category
assignment. Also, you can mark waters with a "Partially Supporting"
flag for your internal reference. However, in the ADB v.2, the
"Partial" flag will have no effect on the category listing.
The new Guidance
encourages States to create GIS coverages using the National
Hydrography Dataset in order to describe the location of their
waterbody segments/assessment units. EPA provides the NHD Reach
Indexing Tool (NHD-RIT) to assist with this process. One advantage
of using this methodology is that there is an ADB-RIT extension for
ADB v.2 that assists users in using their NHD-based GIS coverages to
calculate waterbody segment/assessment unit size for use in the ADB.
Visit the Using
GIS with ADB v.2 section to find out more about the ADBv2-RIT.
Also, under the new Guidance, States are expected to account for
all of the waters in the State, even those that are unassessed. The
ADBv2-RIT will also provide tools for helping States delineate and
determine size estimates for these unassessed waters. For more
information about the NHD-RIT visit http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/georef.
If you choose not to use NHD and the GIS tools provided by EPA,
but still wish to submit a GIS coverage, be sure that your coverage
includes sufficient metadata so that it can be used appropriately by
EPA. At a minimum this metadata should include the projection
information for the coverage. You can find more detailed metadata
guidelines at http://www.fgdc.gov/metadata/meta_stand.html.
The Guidance refers to assigning the States’ waters to
categories based on use support and the types of causes. The
assignment of waters to categories is automatic in ADB v.2, so you
do not need to worry about assigning waters to categories if you are
planning to use the new system. For more information on how
categories are assigned to waters in ADB v.2 (by overall assessment
unit or by designated use), visit http://www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/2006IRG/report/2006irg-sec5.pdf.
Please see the Reference section
for the ADB User Guide where you can get more detailed information
about features in the ADB v.2.
If you have questions about the new ADB v.2, contact Dwane Young
at EPA's Office of Water Monitoring Branch at firstname.lastname@example.org.