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Water: Recovery Potential

Step 7: Use Your Results


A remarkable variety of different interests, user groups, and publicly and privately run programs are involved in restoration and protection of US waters. Recovery potential screening was originally developed as a technical approach for arranging Clean Water Act 303(d)-listed impaired waters (PDF) (2 pp, 93K, About PDF) in a prioritized schedule for TMDL development and restoration. As a flexible yet systematic framework, the recovery potential screening method is useful and applicable within and beyond Clean Water Act programs. In addition to impaired waters programs at local, state or national level, other applications include fisheries management and restoration, non-point source control grants, green infrastructure and healthy watersheds planning, river basin plan development, rural and urban environmental justice programs, urban waters restoration strategies, and priority-setting in public lands management. Across these varied interests, example uses for screening assessment results include:

  • Identify relative differences in restorability among all waters, and related factors, to better anticipate restoration workloads from place to place.
  • Identify the more restorable waters as an aid to decision makers.
  • Help prioritize the CWA section 303(d) list schedule for TMDL development.
  • Target or prioritize implementation of existing TMDLs for promising waters.
  • Evaluate where best to make CWA section 319 (nonpoint source control) or other restoration investments.
  • Target monitoring where ongoing recoveries appear more likely.
  • Establish a baseline for studying future recovery patterns.
  • Identify where impaired watershed restoration and healthy watershed protection efforts can have great synergy.
  • Influence restoration partnering site selection based on social context scores.
  • Coordinate with major groups or agencies who carry out restoration themselves.
  • Provide a transparent, systematic basis for restoration decisions and priorities

Previous: Step 6: Refine your assessment


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