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Water Quality Data

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The Omaha District has collected water quality data at Corps projects in the District since the late 1970's. The data have been assessed and summarized in water quality reports prepared by the District.  The data collected are stored in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's national STORET and WQX water quality database. The data can be accessed and downloaded online from the STORET/WQX website at www.epa.gov/storet

Recent water quality data collected by the District may not have been entered into STORET/WQX and can be obtained by contacing the District.

The U.S. Geological Survey collects water quality data throughout the United States.  Water quality data have been collected at Corps project areas in the District. These data can be accessed online through the U.S. Geological Survey's website "Surface-Water Data for the Nation" at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/sw.

State environmental agencies responsible for surface water quality management routinely collect surface water quality data within their State. Water quality data have been collected by the States at Corps projects in the District. This information may be stored and accessible through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's STORET/WQX database. State water quality agency websites may publish water quality information on their web sites. The State of Nebraska, during the recreation season, publishes weekly bacteria and cyanobacteria toxin levels at District reservoirs with swimming beaches.

Local Watershed Management Authorities have been established to protect and improve water quality at the three Colorado Tributary Projects in the District:  Bear Creek, Chatfield, and Cherry Creek Reservoirs.  Each of these Watershed Authorities has adopted local water quality regulations and water quality management plans to protect and manage water quality at the respective reservoirs.  As part of these water quality management plans, the Watershed Authorities are implementing comprehensive water quality monitoring programs.  For efficiency purposes, the Corps ceased its water quality monitoring activities at the three Colorado Tributary Projects in 2002, and now defers to the respective Watershed Authorities for assessment of water quality conditions at Bear Creek, Chatfield, and Cherry Creek Reservoirs.  Persons interested in water quality conditions at the three Colorado tributary projects can visit the websites maintained by the following groups:

Priority Water Quality Management Issues

To facilitate implementation of the District's Water Quality Management Program, eight priority issues for surface water quality management have been identified by the District. The eight priority issues are:

Missouri River Mainstem System Water Quality Management Issues

  • Determine how regulation of the Missouri River Mainstem System (Mainstem System) dams affects water quality in the impounded reservoir and downstream river. Utilize the CE-QUAL-W2 hydrodynamic and water quality model to facilitate this effort.
  • Evaluate how eutrophication is progressing in the Mainstem System reservoirs, especially regarding the expansion of anoxic conditions in the hypolimnion during summer stratification.
  • Determine how flow regime, especially the release of water from Mainstem System projects, affects water quality in the Missouri River.
  • Determine how current water quality conditions in the Missouri River (e.g., water temperature, turbidity, etc.) may be affecting pallid sturgeon populations in the Missouri River system.

District-Wide Water Quality Management Issues

  • Provide water quality information to support Corps reservoir regulation elements for effective surface water quality and aquatic habitat management.
  • Provide water quality information and technical support to the Tribes and States in the development of their Section 303(d) lists and development and implementation of TMDLs at District projects.
  • Identify existing and potential surface water quality problems at District projects, and develop and implement appropriate solutions.
  • Evaluate surface water quality conditions and trends at District projects.