Lower Salinas River Watershed Nutrient TMDL


Problem Statement - Many surface waterbodies in the lower Salinas River and Reclamation Canal basin, and the Morro Cojo Slough subwatershed are impaired due to exceedances of water quality criteria for nitrate, unionized ammonia, and associated nutrient-related problems such as excessive orthophosphate, dissolved oxygen imbalances, toxicity, and excess algal biomass.  As a result, a wide range of current or potential designated beneficial uses – including aquatic habitat, drinking water supply, groundwater recharge, and agricultural supply - are not being supported in these waterbodies, and therefore these impairments constitute a serious water quality problem. This project identifies the water quality impairments and describes a plan to achieve water quality objectives and ultimately restore the designated beneficial uses of surface waters.

Final TMDL Documents


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Status and Public Notices

Approval status

  • Central Coast Water Board
    - adopted March 14, 2013.
  • State Water Resources Control Board
    - approved February 4, 2014.
  • Office of Administrative Law (OAL)
    - approved May 7, 2014, which is the effective date.
  • US Environmental Protection Agency
    - approved October 13, 2015.