Water Quality Standards 101

This will be a 101-level training, suitable for river and watershed organizations, land trusts, tribal governments, and wildlife or lands groups interested in better understanding the power of one of the Clean Water Act’s core programs.

Water quality standards are the building blocks for all kinds of efforts to protect and restore our rivers, lakes and wetlands. Water quality standards establish the uses we make or want to make of our rivers (from swimming to trout habitat to irrigation) and set limits for pollutants and other parameters necessary to make rivers safe for those uses. In addition, standards establish policies that help keep clean waters clean.

What will you learn in water quality standards 101?

  • The basic components of standards – designated uses, water quality criteria, and the antidegradation policy – and how they can be used to protect your rivers.
  • Mechanisms for public input and influence in standards development.
  • Where to find your own state’s water quality standards, and how to navigate within them.
  • Opportunities for improving standards in your state and around the region – from nutrient pollution control to biocriteria development.

Resource Materials