South Lake Tahoe, CA – With support from California Proposition 84 stormwater grant funds, the Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD) is leading the effort to measure pollutants in urban runoff at Lake Tahoe to help evaluate the combined effectiveness of pollutant control measures and consistently track and report monitoring findings. This effort, known as the Regional Storm Water Monitoring Program (RSWMP) is a collaborative program supported by regulatory agencies, local government representatives, and scientists in the Lake Tahoe region.
With the adoption of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Regional Plan Update and the bi-state Lake Tahoe clarity restoration plan known as the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (Lahontan Water Board), TRPA, and local government agencies need to evaluate how adopted plans and policies are affecting the lake. The quality of urban stormwater that flows into Lake Tahoe is an important indicator, and the RSWMP is a critical step in providing a comprehensive approach to monitoring stormwater around the Tahoe Basin.
The program has united academic scientists, environmental agencies, and private contractors to gather their collective experience to develop a collaborative, scientifically sound, cost-effective regional stormwater monitoring approach. The Tahoe RCD, in partnership with the Water Board, the TRPA and other stakeholders will propose several monitoring methods to help basin managers and scientists implement urban storm
water monitoring plans to assess status and trends, Best Management Practice
effectiveness, and provide permit compliance monitoring.
The RSWMP project will provide an administrative structure for prioritizing urban
stormwater monitoring expenditures, recommend cost-effective monitoring methods, help gather data to answer key resource management questions, and track basin-wide progress toward achieving Lake clarity goals.
In addition to programmatic development, the Tahoe RCD has initiated monitoring of several Tahoe Basin urban catchments and stormwater treatment facilities to assess the effectiveness of pollutant load reduction efforts. Initial monitoring work began in October 2013, and additional urban catchments will be monitored beginning October
The Proposition 84 resources will also support the implementation of a comprehensive RSWMP database that will ultimately house both historic and new stormwater quality data at Lake Tahoe that will be accessible online. Consistent data format and data analysis techniques will allow for ready comparison of results across all monitoring sites and data collection objectives.
The Tahoe RCD is providing technical and organizational support for program implementation. The Water Board, in partnership with the TRPA and a collection of local and regional stakeholders, serves as a technical advisor to the Tahoe RCD and its team
of consultants and academic advisors. The RSWMP project is scheduled to begin monitoring in October 2014 and will continue with programmatic development through early 2015.
About Tahoe Resource Conservation District
The Tahoe RCD’s mission is to promote the conservation and improvement of the Lake Tahoe Basin’s soil, water, and related natural resources by providing leadership, information, programs, and technical assistance to all stakeholders. The Tahoe RCD is a non-regulatory, grant funded, public agency that works with a variety of partner agencies to implement programs and outreach, which currently focus on erosion control, stormwater monitoring, terrestrial and aquatic invasive species control, and conservation landscaping. Please visit: http://tahoercd.org/
About the Lahontan Water Board
The Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board’s mission is to preserve, protect, enhance and restore the quality of California’s water resources, and ensure their proper allocation and efficient use for the benefit of present and future generations. Please visit: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/lahontan/