In addition to the Overview information provided for Water Quality, the Agriculture and Wastewater Workgroups have described their priorities and progress in the tabs below. Other important work is being conducted by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership to restore water quality by implementing pollution reduction practices on urban and suburban lands and reducing pollution deposited in the watershed from the air. Additional information on these efforts will be included over time. Progress in implementing the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and in achieving milestones set at the 2009 Executive Council Meeting is also described below.
The Agriculture Workgroup (AGWG) has described their priorities and progress in the tabs below. Other important work is being conducted by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership to restore water quality by implementing pollution reduction practices on urban and suburban lands and reducing pollution deposited in the watershed from the air. Additional information on these efforts will be included over time.
The Wastewater Workgroup has described their priorities and progress in the tabs below. Other important work is being conducted by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership to restore water quality by implementing pollution reduction practices on urban and suburban lands and reducing pollution deposited in the watershed from the air. Additional information on these efforts will be included over time.
The Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or “pollution diet” sets pollution limits necessary to meet applicable water quality standards in the Bay and its tidal rivers. The primary elements of the TMDL are “wasteload allocations” for “point sources” like sewage treatment plants, urban stormwater systems and large animal feeding operations, and “load allocations” for “non point sources” such as runoff from agricultural lands and non-regulated stormwater from urban and suburban lands. These pollution limits are further divided by jurisdiction and major river basin based on state-of-the-art modeling tools, extensive monitoring data, peer-reviewed science, and close interaction with jurisdiction partners.
During the 2009 Chesapeake Executive Council (EC) meeting, the Bay watershed jurisdictions set short-term goals or milestones to reduce pollution to the Bay and dramatically accelerate the pace of restoration. Jurisdictions based the 2009-2011 milestones on increasing their historic implementation rates in order to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. In December 2010, EPA finalized the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) which provided jurisdictions with load allocation numbers for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment. These allocations created a “pollution diet” which set limits for the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that could enter the Bay from each jurisdiction and ensure the Bay is meeting water quality standards.
The 2009-2011 milestones were developed prior to the limits set by the Bay TMDL. As a result, the information presented here is not directly comparable with the annual reporting by the Bay jurisdictions on progress toward achieving the TMDL allocations. Beginning with the 2012-2013 milestone period, reporting of 2-year milestone progress will be tracked against the Bay TMDL allocations and the level of commitments made in the Phase I and II Watershed Implementation Plans.
In 2008, the Chesapeake Executive Council charged the seven jurisdictions to develop a two-year milestone process for reducing their respective nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment contributions to the Chesapeake Bay and to track the pace of those reductions. Two-year milestones provide short-term objectives and have become part of the overall Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) accountability framework established in 2010 to assess progress on restoration goals. When fully implemented, the seven Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) will ensure that practices are in place by 2017 to reduce the load by 60 percent. By 2025, all practices necessary to meet the target loading levels will be in place. The two-year milestones allow jurisdictions the opportunity to adapt implementation strategies outlined in their WIPs as necessary to meet those goals and ultimately achieve applicable water quality standards and restore the Bay.
Stormwater blurb here.
Total Pollution Loads to the Bay
How much money is being spent
Pollution loads to the Bay are simulated using the CBP Watershed Model Phase 5.3.2 and wastewater discharge data reported by the Bay jurisdictions. Loads include atmospheric deposition of nitrogen to tidal waters. Planning targets established in August 2011 (2017 Interim Target and 2025 Planning Target) represent the level of effort necessary to meet the TMDL.
was reported in the Chesapeake Registry for 2010 by the Bay Program partners.
Reported funding information is available for activities that protect and restore water quality in the following areas: wastewater, agriculture, developed lands, onsites and septic systems, riparian areas, air emissions, acid mine drainage, chemical contaminants, and other work to protect and restore water quality.
Progress toward restoration is an assessment of whether Bay Program partners are making progress on their goals and planned actions. Achieving our health goals is influenced by many factors, such as weather, resulting in health goal changes that do not always directly correspond to changes in restoration progress. The Funding information is presented as reported to the Bay Program and does not currently capture all Bay Program partner work.
What is the current health of Bay water quality?
Standards attainment: data represent three year period (data year and preceding two years)
*Based on the best available data, not including water clarity results. The percentage may change after water clarity data for the 2010-2012 assessment period become available and are incorporated into the calculations. At the same time the 2010-2012 status will be revised if necessary.
Why is water quality important?
An important goal for the Chesapeake Bay Program is clean water in the Bay and in the rivers and streams in the Bay watershed. For the Bay to be healthy and productive, the water must be fairly clear, have enough oxygen, contain the proper amount of algae and be free from chemical contamination. These components of good water quality make the Bay safe for humans and support healthy populations of fish, crabs and oysters.
Healthy water quality is important for many other Bay restoration goals such as restoring bay grasses and providing oxygen rich water for abundant crabs and fish. Water quality is, therefore, an area of focus that receives significant investment of resources by Chesapeake Bay Program partners.
Learn more about efforts to reduce pollution and restore water quality.
Detailed Water Quality Funding Information
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