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Impaired Waters and TMDLs

The Impaired Waters Restoration Pipeline: Water Body Recovery

Recovery, the final stage of the pipeline, signifies a water body's attainment of a previously unmet water quality standard. Recovery of the water body culminates after the gradual improvement as control practices take effect. Generally this occurs many years after the TMDL was developed and put into place. Although a significant number of years may have elapsed, a properly calculated TMDL and feasible, well-implemented controls from years earlier are eventually crucial to full recovery of the impaired water body.

Tracking and reporting instances where the water body can be declared recovered is challenging. Because of this, the program analysis addressed this stage of the pipeline by focusing on improving the scientific basis for understanding the driving factors that lead to recovery in general, and developing tools for use in restoration priority-setting on a statewide or national basis.

Reports and Resources