Water Quality & Stormwater Management

Water Quality and the Lake Tahoe Total Maximum Daily Load

Stormwater runoff from roads and dense urban areas, vehicle exhaust, altered wetlands and streams, and inadequate stormwater pollution control has significantly impacted Lake Tahoe’s famous clarity and the health of its watersheds. Many of these impacts occurred decades ago. EIP watershed restoration, air pollution controls, and aggressively implementing proper stormwater controls and best management practices are essential to restore the Lake’s clarity and the Basin’s wetlands and wildlife.

Nevada Lake Tahoe TMDL

California Lake Tahoe TMDL

Stormwater Management (BMPs)

Improvements to water quality at Lake Tahoe is closely connected to how stormwater is managed. Science is showing that 72 percent of the fine particles that are entering Lake Tahoe every year are coming from urban upland areas, such as neighborhoods, town centers and roadways. Many of the scientific water quality documents below focus on stormwater and how developed areas can be improved to restore Lake Tahoe’s famous water clarity.

Science shows that implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on existing development can improve Lake Tahoe’s water quality and clarity. The BMP Retrofit Program represents the private contribution to the EIP. TRPA’s Stormwater Management Program staff provide free assistance to property owners, private businesses, and government agencies to advance effective BMP design and implementation on developed properties. For information visit www.tahoebmp.org

Best Management Practices Action Plan

Lake Tahoe Water Quality Management Plan for the Lake Tahoe Basin.

2008 Storm Water Quality Improvement Committee Documents

Completing stormwater quality projects included in the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program (EIP) involves collaboration between Federal,State and local partner agencies. These regulatory, implementation and funding partner agencies are committed to advancing Basin-wide storm water quality project-related EIP goals. These documents streamline the project delivery process, help prioritize projects and lead to better coordination.

The Tahoe Basin Interagency Executives Committee formed the Basin Executives Soil Erosion Control Implementation Working Group to develop a holistic Basin-wide project delivery framework. The Working Group prioritized the continuation of efforts to improve the design and effectiveness of storm water quality improvement projects. With this in mind, the Working Group established the Storm Water Quality Improvement Committee (SWQIC). In 2008, the SWQIC developed the specific framework elements and collaborative protocols documented below.

Interim Guidelines for Evaluating Water Quality Improvement Programs, November, 2008 (1 MB)

Charter of the Storm Water Quality Improvement Committee (SWQIC)

Recharter of the Water Quality Improvement Committee (SWQIC)

Collaborative Storm Water Quality Project Delivery for the Lake Tahoe Basin (1.06 M)

Formulating and Evaluating Alternatives for Water Quality Improvement Projects  (1.63 M)

Technical Appendices (2.01 M)

January 12, 2005 Workshop Power Point Presentation (39.1 M)

Identification of Potential Constraints and Recommendations affecting Implementation of the Urban Storm Water Treatment Component of the EIP(175K)