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Surface Water Quality Bureau
Monitoring & Assessment

US EPA-Approved TMDL for the Upper Rio Chama Watershed
[El Vado Reservoir to Colorado Border]

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The Rio Chama above Rio Brazos, July 2002...  Download the TMDL today!

The Surface Water Quality Bureau (SWQB) conducted an intensive watershed survey of the Rio Chama Basin of northcentral New Mexico in 1998. Water quality monitoring stations were located within the watershed to evaluate the impact of tributary streams and ambient water quality conditions. As a result of assessing data generated during this monitoring effort, impairment determinations of New Mexico water quality standards (WQS) include the following:

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CHRONIC ALUMINUM on the Rio Chamita (Rio Chama to Colorado Border);

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STREAM BOTTOM DEPOSITS on the Rito de Tierra Amarilla (Rio Chama to State Highway 64);

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TEMPERATURE on the Rio Chama (Rio Brazos to Little Willow Creek), Chavez Creek (Rio Brazos to headwaters), Rio Brazos (Rio Chama to Chavez Creek) and Rito de Tierra Amarilla (Rio Chama to State Highway 64); and

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TURBIDITY on the Rito de Tierra Amarilla (Rio Chama to State Highway 64).


This TMDL document
addresses the above-noted impairments. Two sets of TMDLs, one for ammonia, fecal coliform, and total phosphorus, and one for temperature, were previously completed for the Rio Chamita (Rio Chama to the Colorado Border) in 1999.

Heidi Henderson
TMDL Development

(505) 827-2901

PDF DOWNLOADS
FULL TMDL (w/appedices) 7.6 MB Download the 7.6 MB PDF file today...
TMDL w/o appendices 2.9 MB Download the 2.9 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendx A 2.8 MB Download the 2.8 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix B 167 kb Download the 167 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix C 1.1 MB Download the 1.1 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix D 1.1 MB Download the 1.1 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix E 184 kb Download the 184 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix F 213 kb Download the 213 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix G 111 kb Download the 111 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix H 163 kb Download the 163 kb PDF file today...
WQCC Approval 157 kb Download the 157 kb PDF file today...
US EPA Approval 117 kb Download the 117 kb PDF file today...
   
MORE WORK AT SWQB IN
THE RIO CHAMA BASIN...
Bulleted item Upper Rio Chama Watershed TMDLs - 2011
Bulleted item Water Quality Survey Summary for the Upper Rio Chama Watershed - 2007
Bulleted item 2007 Lakes Water Quality Assessments including Abiquiu and El Vado Reservoirs - 2007
Bulleted item Lower Rio Chama Watershed TMDLs - 2004
Bulleted item Rio Chamita TMDLs for ammonia, fecal coliform and total phosphorus - 1999
Bulleted item Rio Chamita TMDL for temperature - 1999
Bulleted item Water Quality Survey Summary for the Lower Rio Chama Watershed - 1999


The TMDL document addresses the above-noted impairments as summarized in the Executive Summary tables starting on page 4.  The data used to develop these TMDLs were collected during the 1998 Rio Chama survey. The 1998 study identified other potential water quality impairments which are not addressed in this document. Additional data needs for verification of those impairments have been identified and data collection followed in 2007. Subsequent TMDLs were prepared in separate TMDL documents listed above.

The Monitoring and Assessment Section will collect water quality data during the next rotational cycle.  The next scheduled monitoring date for the Rio Chama Watershed is 2012 at which time TMDL targets will be re-examined and potentially revised as this document is considered to be an evolving management plan.  In the event that new data indicate that the targets used in this analysis are not appropriate and/or if new standards are adopted, the load capacity will be adjusted accordingly. When water quality standards have been achieved, the reach will be moved to the appropriate category in the State's CWA §303(d)/§305(b) Integrated Report.

The Watershed Protection Section will continue to work with watershed groups to develop Watershed-Based Plans to implement strategies that attempt to correct the water quality impairments detailed in this document.  Implementation of items detailed in the Watershed-Based Plans will be done with participation of all interested and affected parties.

A TMDL is a planning document that establishes specific goals to meet water quality standards in waterbodies where pollutant limits are exceeded. It includes current pollution loadings, reduction estimates for pollutants, information on probable sources of pollution, and suggestions to restore or protect the health of the waterbody.

For more information, please contact Heidi Henderson at the address or phone number provided above.

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