The Center recently wrapped up development of a Nutrient Credit Tool that allows jurisdictions in North Carolina’s Falls Lake Watershed to report implementation of Nutrient Credit Practices and track cumulative progress toward nutrient load reductions to protect local drinking water supply.
The Upper Neuse River Basin is located in the Piedmont of North Carolina with an area of 770-square mile area draining to the Falls Lake Reservoir; Raleigh’s primary source of water. The Falls Lake Watershed is affected by excess nitrogen and phosphorus from urban and suburban development, wastewater treatment plants, and agriculture. Jurisdictions within the Falls Lake watershed are required to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loads according to the Falls Lake Nutrient Management Strategy. The Upper Neuse River Basin Association (UNRBA) is a voluntary organization of municipalities, county governments and Soil and Water Conservation Districts that voluntarily work to address water quality protection and water resources planning and management since 1996.
The UNRBA contracted with Cardno and the Center for Watershed Protection to develop methods and a tool to calculate nutrient reduction credits associated with nutrient reducing measures. Working with Cardno, the Center completed a screening analysis narrowing down 55 potential nutrient reduction measures for credit for the UNRBA. A database of over 150 publications was also compiled to inform the selection and basis for developing the crediting methods for the measures as selected by the screening analysis.
The Nutrient Credit Tool integrates the newly developed nutrient reducing measures allowing jurisdictions within the Falls Lake Watershed to report and track implementation to meet needed load reductions. The Tool includes both structural and non-structural nutrient reduction measures (such as remedying illicit discharges) and costs associated with implementation, operation and maintenance. Unique features of the Tool include the integration of existing regulatory BMP tools and cumulative tracking of progress towards local load reduction goals. The Nutrient Credit Tool and associated User Guide are available for download at https://www.unrba.org/nutrient-credit-program. The successful completion of the project was facilitated by the coordination with local stakeholders of the UNRBA, and state agency staff. Overall, the results will facilitate implementation of a broader suite of practices for jurisdictions to meet the Rules requirements. To learn more about this project, contact Neely Law at email@example.com.
This is just one of many projects where the Center has produced customized tools for regulatory agencies that facilitate compliance with water quality regulations at the local level. For more information about these services, contact Greg Hoffmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.