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Watershed Assessment Team (WAT) Overview
The primary purpose of the Watershed Assessment Team (WAT) is to conduct water quality assessments in targeted watersheds throughout the state to support local watershed plan (LWP) development by the NC Ecosystem Enhancement Program (EEP). They also assist with other special projects; for example, pre- and post-construction monitoring of stream restorations.
Past assessments have focused primarily on chemical and biological assessment methods, augmented by physical assessments such as discharge, bank stability, and habitat assessments. WAT has recently expanded the scope of its projects to include water quality monitoring of restoration and enhancement projects (pre- and post-construction) and in assessing wetland function using the NC Wetland Assessment Methodology (NC WAM). Many of these projects are in cooperation with other organizations, such as private consultants and NC State University.
In June 2009, WAT organized a Watershed Assessment Forum that included representatives from local, state and federal agencies and organizations, including DWQ, EEP, NC Department of Transportation, US Geological Survey, East Carolina University, and Triangle J Council of Governments. The objectives of the Forum were:
· To foster a better understanding of local watershed planning efforts being conducted by the NC Ecosystem Enhancement Program and the requirements of "Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule" [Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers 33 CFR Parts 325 and 332; and Environmental Protection Agency 40 CFR Part 230]
· To raise awareness of users of water quality data regarding the strengths, weaknesses and costs associated with different types of water quality assessments.
A link to the written summary of proceedings and findings is provided below.
Meeting Themes: Watershed Assessment Forum- Water Quality Monitoring and Local Watershed Plans (PDF)