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Posted 2/26/2015

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By Carol Labashosky, public affairs

The Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District’s water quality team has been fostering interagency cooperation in Kentucky.

Water Quality Limnologist Jade Young initiated and coordinated a meeting at Frankfort, Kentucky, Feb. 5 to improve partnerships with federal and state agencies that are involved in the district’s water quality monitoring in Kentucky.

The purpose of the meeting was to identify areas in which agency missions overlap to improve coordination, best leverage resources and eliminate duplication of effort on water quality assessments.

Some examples of the agencies represented at the meeting who use or provide water quality information are Kentucky Division of Water, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, USGS, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Huntington and Nashville districts water quality personnel also attended and presented on their water quality programs because they also monitor reservoirs and watersheds in Kentucky. Similar meetings are planned for the future in Indiana and Ohio.

The Army Corps of Engineer’s water quality mission is founded on the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and its amendments including the Clean Water Act and the Water Quality Act. The district’s water quality program is to comply with applicable state and federal water quality regulations.

The Louisville District water quality program involves technical support to water management, lake project operations and navigation.

“Another objective of the water quality program is to look at water quality conditions, establish baseline conditions and assess current water quality status,” said Young.

The Corps water quality team also identifies any significant water quality trends which aids in understanding the reservoirs and the watershed. Additionally, the Corps water quality staff coordinates and conducts surveys and studies. The Corps’ lake rangers and project managers help collect information for the surveys and studies.

“I think that this meeting was a huge success. The meeting was well attended and a lot of opportunities for strengthening partnerships were identified,” said Young.

“We have a lot of data that are beneficial to many different water resource agencies not just the Corps. For example, Kentucky Department of Water frequently includes Corps data in their Integrated Report to Congress.”

Mark Philips, hydraulic engineer, Louisville District water management team, gave a presentation on district lake operations, and he highlighted how important water quality data—collected by lake staff —is to support the district’s missions.