The concept of a web-based Total Maximum Daily Loads Application, designed to share important water management information,
has been a topic of discussion in the Division of Water Resource Management for over six years. For years
the methods for gathering the necessary Total Maximum Daily Loads, Minimum Flows and Levels,
and Basin Management Action Plan data have been inefficient and ineffective with respect to the
decision making process related to the management of impaired waterbodies in Florida. The design and
implementation of this web-based application will satisfy the need of the division to communicate
critical information for the purpose of identifying and improving Florida impaired waterbodies.
Total Maximum Daily Loads are quantitative analyses of water bodies where one or more water quality standards are
not being met, and are aimed at identifying the management strategies necessary to attain those water quality
standards. In essence, TMDLs describe the amount of each pollutant a water body can receive without violating
standards, and are characterized as the sum of wasteload allocations, load allocations, and a margin of safety to
account for uncertainties. Wasteload allocations are pollutant loads attributable to existing and future point sources,
such as discharges from industry and sewage facilities. Load allocations are pollutant loads attributable to existing
and future nonpoint sources and natural background. Nonpoint sources include runoff from farms, forests, urban areas,
and natural sources, such as decaying organic matter and nutrients in soil.
TMDLs take into account the water quality of an entire water body or watershed and assess all the pollutant loadings into
that watershed, rather than simply considering whether each individual discharge meets its permit requirements. The
management strategies that emerge from the TMDL process may encompass everything from traditional regulatory measures,
agricultural best management practices and other pollution prevention measures, land acquisition, infrastructure funding,
pollutant trading, and the like. They also will include an overall monitoring plan to test their effectiveness.