Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.
Protecting our water resources from the impacts of NPS pollution is a complex challenge.
Indiana uses a watershed approach as its water quality management strategy to protect and restore water quality. The watershed approach is used by IDEM and others to examine and address water quality concerns in each waterbody in the context of its watershed, thereby attempting to address all the potential sources of pollution within the watershed.
Environmental problems, such as NPS pollution, often cut across media and political jurisdictions. Consequently, environmental mitigation and protection requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach that works with a multitude of programs and agencies. The watershed approach is a coordinating framework for management that focuses public and private sector efforts to address the highest priority, water-related problems within geographic areas, considering both surface and ground water flow. By examining water quality issues on a watershed basis, problems can be observed in relationship to their sources so that the causes can be effectively addressed.
IDEM’s ongoing effort to implement the watershed approach includes:
Two key steps needed to solve NPS problems within a watershed context are the development of a watershed-based plan that addresses a waterbody’s water quality problems (including the incorporation of any TMDLs that have been developed) and the actual implementation of the plan. Careful analysis of the sources of water quality problems, their relative contributions to the problems, and alternatives to solve those problems, provide the best basis for sound decision-making and implementation that will actually solve those water quality problems. For this reason, IDEM will emphasize using watershed-based planning and implementation processes to realize the long-term goal for the state’s NPS management program.