Water Quality Division: Surface Water Programs Landing Page

Surface Water Links and Information for the Public

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is required by the federal Clean Water Act to conduct a comprehensive analysis of water quality data associated with Arizona’s surface waters to determine whether state water quality standards are being met and designated uses are being supported.The three purposes of this section's activities are:

  • Nationally, it fulfills a reporting requirement of the Clean Water Act, and is submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and used to report on national water quality issues and concerns.
  • For ADEQ, it provides a mandate to compile environmental data and information from ADEQ’s surface water quality protection pr ograms, as well as from other agencies, organizations, and individuals. This comprehensive evaluation of quality of water in Arizona is used to set priorities, allocate resources, and make decisions about land use activities, discharges to the water, future monitoring, and program initiatives.
  • For the public, it provides an opportunity to learn about and comment on the status of water quality in the state.

ADEQ's Surface Water program includes information about the agency's work in the areas of monitoring and asessing the health of Arizona's steams, rivers, and lakes.

  • Monitoring and Assessment - Specific activities include providing critical information on water quality conditions and establishing water quality standards.
  • Standards - Surface water quality standards are one of the cornerstones of the Clean Water Act. These standards define the water quality goals for Arizona streams and lakes. The standards also provide the basis for a water quality-based approach to controlling discharges of pollutants to surface waters.
  • Watershed Management - A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place. ADEQ partners with several organizations to ensure these areas are swimmable and fishable.