EPA launches WATERS web site

The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a new web site featuring access to information about water quality listed by geographic area.

June 15, 2001--The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a new web site -- http://www.epa.gov/waters , featuring access to information about water quality listed by geographic area.

Called WATERS (Watershed Assessment, Tracking and Environmental Results), the site incorporates the U.S. Geological Survey's National Hydrographic Dataset, and provides unified access to water quality information from several state and EPA databases, including EPA's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Database and its new National Water Quality Standards Database.

At this time, users can find information on waters classified by states as impaired (those waters not attaining water quality standards) in all states except Alaska, and on the purpose or use of each water body (such as whether or not it is designated for protection as a drinking water supply, for recreational use, or for fishing) in 16 states.

Users can also search for water quality information for a particular body of water by clicking on an interactive map, which is currently available for 11 states. EPA will update WATERS as new information becomes available, eventually covering all 50 states, and will add links to data on ambient water quality, drinking water quality, polluted runoff, fish consumption advisories, facility discharge outfalls, and other information.

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