As part of CMAP's Areawide Water Quality Planning role, the agency serves as a regional watershed coordinator and guides several watershed planning underway in northeastern Illinois.
Watershed plans must address USEPA's and the Illinois EPA's nine key components of a watershed-based plan that are helpful in achieving improved water quality. Furthermore, plans must include this information if funded by Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.
More recently, CMAP is addressing regional planning criteria as described below:
CMAP's Regional Planning Criteria
1. Estimate pollutant loads for impaired watersheds and with stakeholder input, establish pollutant-load reduction goals taking into account both point and nonpoint-source pollution sources.
2. Consider groundwater protection from both water quality and water quantity perspectives.
3. Compare municipal codes and ordinances against the US EPA developed Water Quality Scorecard and other similar guidance documents for purpose of protecting water.
Download a map (also, click on thumbnail image above right) illustrating completed watershed plans and plans underway.
What is a watershed? A watershed is a land area that drains to a common location such as a lake, another stream or river, an estuary, or the ocean. Watershed planning is a collaborative approach, with community involvement, that seeks to address a variety water resource concerns and opportunities. As part of the planning process, strategy recommendations are developed to help restore the beneficial uses of impaired waters or protect and maintain the quality of unimpaired or threatened waters. Since watershed planning creates a forum for community discussion and deliberations, other objectives are often pursued too. Thus, multi-objective plans acknowledge the value of water and other natural resources and with this perspective, seek to improve quality-of-life in the watershed for both current residents and future generations.
A list of CMAP developed watershed plans include: