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Arroyo Chico Watershed Based Plan

According to the Environmental Protection Agency:

"Development of a watershed management plan is a key step in Watershed Management, leading to restoration of a polluted or otherwise impaired waterbody.  Development and implementation of these plans to focus on addressing a specific nonpoint source impairment qualifies them as Watershed Based Plans, with the ultimate goal of reducing or removing the impairment, so the waterbody can meet Water Quality Standards, and be removed from the list.  US EPA has described Nine Elements that must be addressed in an approved Watershed Based Plan to qualify for funding under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.  Watershed management plans can widen the scope of Watershed Based Plans by addressing other water and land resource issues on a watershed scale, above and beyond the specific impairments."

In order to meet the goals of the Clean Water Act, the state of New Mexico developed the Federal Clean Water Action Plan (CWAP) in 1998. The ambition was to identify watersheds within the state that have water quality concerns and prioritize their rehabilitation efforts. A statewide task force conducted the New Mexico Unified Watershed Assessment (1998) that responded to mandates made by the CWAP and evaluated watersheds within New Mexico. Twenty-one out eighty-three watersheds in New Mexico were identified as “in need of restoration,” also known as Category I. The Rio Puerco Watershed including he Arroyo Chico was identified as Category I. And even though the Arroyo Chico has no identified Impaired Waters, it is one of the biggest contributors of sediment to the Rio Puerco and further down to the Rio Grande.

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