Kentucky Division of Water unveils new water health portal

Provides detailed information on the health of Kentucky waters

Kentuckians can now find out if their favorite spot on the water is safe to swim or if the fish there are healthy enough to eat with a few clicks of the mouse.

Kentucky’s Water Health Portal — http://watermaps.ky.gov/  — is an interactive Web-based map application that enables users to learn about the health of the streams in their area and across the Commonwealth. 

“Just as our bodies need health assessments, the waters of the Commonwealth also need to be assessed for their health,” said Division of Water (DOW) director Peter Goodmann.   “To accomplish this, environmental scientists examine water bodies and study fish and bugs, assessing the habitat and sampling the physical properties of the water.”

All of these various components examined together help tell the story of the waters’ health.

The Water Health Portal was developed in response to legislation enacted in 2013 which calls for making information presented in the Integrated Report more transparent to the average citizen.  The Integrated Report is a complex technical document compiled every two years and submitted to Congress that is an assessment of the health of Kentucky’s waters.

As a Clean Water Act requirement, the Integrated Report contains both the Section 305(b) Report, which describes the health status of all surface waters that have been assessed in the state, and the Section 303(d) Report, which describes only the health status of surface waters that are assessed as impaired.  While this report provides all the information one would need to check on the health of the stream or lake in their community, it is not designed with the average citizen in mind.  The DOW Water Health Portal presents the information in an easier-to-read format.

For additional information, contact John Webb, Watershed branch manager at John.webb@ky.gov or 502-564-3410.

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