Water Quality Management—Have We Lost Sight of the Objective—

by Gary R. Minton, (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; Consulting Div., Mathematical Sciences Northwest, Inc., Bellevue, Wash.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pg. 131-141

Document Type: Journal Paper


Present water pollution control strategy has been under increasing attack. The trend is towards the reincorporation of receiving-water conditions into management decisions. But are the profession and the regulatory agencies prepared for this step? Have we focused too long on only the discharges? The writer stresses that we cannot simply return to how things were done before 1972, because the strategy was ineffective and because the needs have changed. The writer makes recommendations for: (1)The modification of receiving-water standards; (2)the improvement of water quality management planning; (3)the need to emphasize nonpoint pollution, which must involve change in many areas including local government capability, monitoring, dealing with policy conflicts, use of incentives, new tools, and relating nonpoint pollution control to natural resource management; and (4)the need to integrate our environmental objectives.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Quality control | Water pollution | Nonpoint pollution | Resource management | Wastewater management | Water resources | Local government

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