New EPA Recovery Potential Screening Website for Impaired Waters

EPA’s Assessment and Watershed Protection Division (AWPD) is pleased to announce the release of its new Recovery Potential Screening website at

AWPD collaborated with several states and EPA Regional offices as well as EPA’s Office of Research and Development over the past several years to develop and refine this tool. The Recovery Potential Screening methods and web site is a technical tool that offers a user-driven, flexible comparison approach using ecological, stressor, and social indicators to evaluate and reveal factors that may explain the relative restorability of waters.

The website provides step-by-step directions in the screening process, time-saving downloadable tools for calculating indices and displaying results, summaries of indicators and their measurement from common data sources, a recovery literature database, and several case studies and related links. The site is a technical product that is applicable to water programs including impaired waters listing, TMDLs, 319 nonpoint source control and others. It does not modify EPA policies and is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ product. The new website provides consistent and straightforward methods and tools, yet users may select indicators of recovery potential that are appropriate to the user’s own geographic area and program purpose. The tools can be used to set priorities in numerous ways, or simply to reveal differences among watersheds to better inform program actions.