What is the Water Quality Enhancement Project?

The Water Quality Enhancement Project was funded by the Administration for Native Americans Environmental Regulatory Enhancement Grant #90NR0291-01-01. The grant ended on September 29, 2016, but the project continues under Clean Water Act Section 106 funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Since 2000, the LTBB tribal Surface Water Quality Protection Program has been monitoring water quality and other parameters at various reservation locations. LTBB staff monitor a total of 19 river and stream sampling stations and 17 sites on lakes/reservoirs/ponds, collecting samples in both summer and winter and mintoring for twelve physical/chemical parameters.

Lake samples are taken at several depths and locations, depending on lake characteristics - deep or shallow, single or multiple basins, stratification regime. River and stream samples are collected at the origin and mouth, with mid-point collection sites along rivers. Macroinvertebrates are collected in rivers, streams, creeks, and littoral zones in lakes.

LTBB manages a natural resources department heavily involved in water resource issues, and has moved steadily into programs pertaining to wetland management, water quality assessment, and other activities. While the tribe conducts fairly comprehensive monitoring activities for waters within and adjacent to the reservation, water quality standards have not yet been established. Water quality standards development is an effort to identify beneficial uses of water bodies, develop narrative and numeric water quality criteria, and policies and methods to prevent water quality degradation.