EPA and the states and tribes in the watershed have worked together to identify watershed-wide and state- and tribe-specific priorities to supplement previous and ongoing monitoring and assessment activities, enhance understanding of the condition of the San Juan watershed, and identify future opportunities for improving watershed protection. The 2017 WIIN Act appropriation ensures that EPA, states, and tribes have critical funding to:
- Evaluate existing water-quality information and conducting targeted sampling throughout the watershed through surface water, sediment, and biological monitoring.
- Maintain sondes (electronic probes) throughout the watershed to provide real-time data that can inform management decisions, including closure of drinking-water intakes if necessary.
- Initiate core sampling in Lake Powell to better understand historical and ongoing deposits in the lake.
- Assess the direct and indirect exposure of humans and livestock to metals in the San Juan and Animas Rivers and reviewing existing water-quality standards for livestock and agricultural irrigation.
- Evaluate connectivity between surface water and groundwater along the Animas River.
- Identify and delineate the extent of cultural uses of Animas River waters to understand how contaminants may affect tribal uses.
- Conduct outreach, assessments, and collaborative activities to communicate the current condition of the watershed.
While funded activities may vary each year, EPA and states and tribes will use any additional appropriations to:
- Continue to assess additional monitoring needs.
- Expand public communication and outreach efforts to capture the additional data collected during each subsequent year of monitoring.
- Support additional state- and tribe-specific activities that inform state and tribal watershed management decisions.