The Charting the Course to Clarity video provides information on the Lake Tahoe Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a science-based plan to restore Lake Tahoe's historic clarity. After a decade of effort, the TMDL was adopted by the States of California and Nevada and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in August 2011.
The Lake Tahoe TMDL was developed during an era in which significant federal, state and local funding was available for water quality improvements projects through the Environmental Improvement Program. As such, the timeframes for achieving the interim Clarity Challenge and the TMDL numeric target were based on the assumption that past funding levels would continue into the future. However, recent economic conditions indicate that this assumption may not be realized.
Despite these fiscally challenging times, we believe great strides can still be made toward accomplishing the goals set forth in the Lake Tahoe TMDL. A number of tools and programs have been developed that will enable implementers to prioritize and target their efforts on those actions which are most cost-effective and in locations where the greatest benefits can be achieved.
We also recognize the need for regular assessment of progress toward meeting clarity goals. The agencies are collaborating to develop the TMDL Management System which will enable informed decision-making including whether implementation strategies and actions, load allocations and/or milestones need to be adjusted. Operating and managing TMDL implementation through a continuous improvement and adaptive management framework will ensure that restoration of Lake Tahoe clarity proceeds in an efficient, effective and realistic manner.