The Conservation Commission plays a lead role in developing TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Implementation Plans to reduce sediment, nutrients, bacteria and other pollutant runoff from agricultural and grazing activities adjacent to streams, lakes or rivers that are on the state 303(d) list of degraded waters.
There are more than 900 water bodies on the 303(d) list in Idaho related to agricultural sediment issues, representing 4,933 miles of streams statewide and American Falls Reservoir on the Snake River.
Commission staff determines the appropriate best management practices (BMPs) to reduce agricultural sediment runoff and local conservation districts work with landowners to install those BMPs over time.
The commission works on TMDL plans year-round to improve Idaho's water quality as there is a backlog of Implementation Plans to prepare. [link to TMDL Status map] Last year, the commission streamlined the planning process to reduce the time required to complete its work on TMDL plans -- from 18 months per plan, to nine.