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TIMBISHA SHOSHONE TRIBE’S WATER QUALITY DEPARTMENT

Currently, the Environmental Department has two Clean Water Act (CWA) grants; Section 319 and Section 106.  These two grants fund the position of a Water Quality Specialist (80% funded through CWA S-106, and 20% funded through CWA S-319). Below are explanations of those CWA grants and program info.

 

CLEAN WATER ACT SECTION 106

CWA S-106 funds allow us to put into place prevention and control measures of ground and surface water pollution.  The Environmental Department uses CWA S-106 funds to: sample surface water at 4 locations in the Village and 7 locations on Timbisha Tribal land; monitor and assess water; attend trainings and conferences; increase our understanding of the watershed (explained above); coordinate with other agencies in the watershed (National Park Service, for example); planning and development; and many more.

If, while sampling the water we find high levels of contaminants, we can then use CWA S-319 funds to (hopefully) correct the problem.

 

Funding

We are still waiting to hear from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding our Clean Water Act (CWA) grant application. Once we receive our grant notification letter, we will be submitting the necessary forms/documents.

 

CLEAN WATER ACT SECTION 319: NONPOINT SOURCE POLLUTION

CWA S-319 helps us address Nonpoint Source Pollution problems. Nonpoint Source Pollution, or polluted runoff, occurs when any water (rainfall, snowmelt, irrigation) runs over land, picks up pollutants (or contaminants), and transports those pollutants into ground and surface water.  Some examples of these pollutants are: agricultural practices (i.e. herbicides, pesticides); livestock grazing (i.e. manure); abandoned mines; septic system malfunctions; construction sites; and various others. Nonpoint Source Pollution is of such concern to environmentalists because 42% of the nation’s waters are in poor biological condition, and only 28% are in good condition – we would like to see the percentage of “good” biological condition waters increase.

One solution to nonpoint source pollution is the watershed approach.  A watershed is an area of land in which all the water drains to a specific point. The watershed approach is a great solution because it focuses on the waters as a whole, not just one piece at a time (addresses the “larger picture”). In the watershed approach, all individuals, business, and government groups would work together to help achieve the goal of water pollution control.

Using CWA S-319 funds, the Timbisha Environmental Departments can: prepare a map of the watershed; investigate nonpoint source pollution contributors; implement Best Management Practices (BMP); remove non-native species from the streambank (just north of the Timbisha Village); clear out the streambank; purchase and plant new native vegetation for the streambank; and much more! CWA S-319 funds help us control water pollution!

 

Nonpoint source pollution

 

 

What is nonpoint source pollution (NPS)?

 

NPS pollutionPolluted runoff- occurs when rain fall, Snowmelt, or irrigation water runs over the land or threw the ground, picks up pollutants, and transports them to surface water or ground water. Though the relevant impact from a few nonpoint pollution sources might be small, the cumulative effect from many nonpoint degrade water quality.

Unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, nonpoint source pollution comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snow melting moving over through the ground as the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, and coastal waters and ground waters.

States report that nonpoint source pollution is the leading remaining cause of water quality problems. The effect of nonpoint source pollution on septic waters vary and may not always fully assessed, we know that these pollutants have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries and wildlife.

 

COMMUNITY OUTREACH MEETING

June 6, 2014 at 10:00a at the Death Valley Community Building. Come learn about Nonpoint Source Pollution: polluted runoff occurs when any water (rainfall, snowmelt, irrigation) runs over land, picks up pollutants (or contaminants), and transports those pollutants into ground and surface water. Some examples of these pollutants are: agricultural practices (i.e. herbicides, pesticides); livestock grazing (i.e. manure); abandoned mines; septic system malfunctions; construction sites; and various others. Refreshments and a light snack will be served.

 

Funding

We are still waiting to hear from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding our Clean Water Act (CWA) grant application. Once we receive our grant notification letter, we will be submitting the necessary forms/documents.

 

For more information about the CWA grants or TST’s Water Quality Department, contact Carmen Armitage: (760) 258-7868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

 

 

 

 

 

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