State of New Mexico > Environment Department > Surface Water Quality Bureau

Surface Water Quality Bureau
Watershed Protection Section

Watershed-Based Planning
USEPA-Accepted WBPs

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The Rio Santa Barbara Watershed-Based Plan

The Rio Santa Barbara... Click to enlarge.

Abraham Franklin
Program Manager
(505) 827-2793

USEPA-ACCEPTED Plan 97 kb Download the 97 kb PDF file today...
USEPA REVIEW LETTER 170 KB Download the 170 kb PDF file today...

More SWQB material on the Rio Santa Barbara Watershed:

Bulleted item Rio Embudo Watershed Management Plan

US EPA Accepts Watershed-Based Plan for the Rio Santa Barbara

In New Mexico, watershed-based planning is an important component of the Nonpoint Source Management Program.  More than a requirement for on-the-ground Section 319 funding, watershed-based planning helps foster communication and coordination between people, organizations, and programs working to protect and restore the environment.

In October 2010, Region 6 EPA reviewed a watershed plan for the Rio Santa Barbara, which was developed by bureau staff with input and review by several key stakeholders.  This plan built on an earlier, broader effort for the larger Rio Embudo watershed.  While the earlier plan described the watershed well and laid out many worthy goals related to water quality, it did not present quantitative information related to pollutant loading.

The main subject of the Rio Santa Barbara Watershed Plan is the relatively short reach of the Rio Santa Barbara downstream of the Carson National Forest and not on Picuris Pueblo lands.  This section of the Rio Santa Barbara has an established total maximum daily load for turbidity, which sets an overall pollutant load reduction goal of 1503 pounds per day of total suspended solids.  Sections of the plan identify sources of pollutant loading, corresponding management measures that can reduce that loading, and programs which can implement these management measures.

While information needs in other watersheds may be very different, the Rio Santa Barbara Watershed Plan provides an example application of nine planning elements published by EPA in the Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidelines for States and Territories in the October 2003 Federal Register.  We hope this example will be useful for planning efforts in other New Mexico watersheds.

For more information, please contact Abe Franklin at the e-address or phone number provided above.


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