Lake Tahoe is an Outstanding National Resource Water and is world renowned for its exceptional clarity. Unfortunately, the clarity of Lake Tahoe is declining at an alarming rate of over one foot each year. The loss of clarity is due largely to soil erosion and surface runoff associated with the development of urban areas in the Tahoe Basin.
Participants in the Lake Tahoe Basin restoration effort are aggressively trying to reduce the amount of non-point sources of nutrients and sediments entering the Lake using management measures called BMPs, or Best Management Practices. This program is important because controlling non-point source sediment and nutrient pollution is the best way to reverse the trend of clarity loss.
The framework for these innovative watershed management measures comes from a variety of water quality protection laws, outlined in the Regional Plan for the Lake Tahoe Basin, the Water Quality Management Plan for the Lake Tahoe Basin (208 Plan) and the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972.