U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 30, 2023
(a) Each State shall prepare and submit biennially to the Regional Administrator a water quality report in accordance with section 305(b) of the Act. The water quality report serves as the primary assessment of State water quality. Based upon the water quality data and problems identified in the 305(b) report, States develop water quality management (WQM) plan elements to help direct all subsequent control activities. Water quality problems identified in the 305(b) report should be analyzed through water quality management planning leading to the development of alternative controls and procedures for problems identified in the latest 305(b) report. States may also use the 305(b) report to describe ground-water quality and to guide development of ground-water plans and programs. Water quality problems identified in the 305(b) report should be emphasized and reflected in the State's WQM plan and annual work program under sections 106 and 205(j) of the Clean Water Act.
(b) Each such report shall include but is not limited to the following:
(1) A description of the water quality of all waters of the United States and the extent to which the quality of waters provides for the protection and propagation of a balanced population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife and allows recreational activities in and on the water.
(2) An estimate of the extent to which CWA control programs have improved water quality or will improve water quality for the purposes of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, and recommendations for future actions necessary and identifications of waters needing action.
(3) An estimate of the environmental, economic and social costs and benefits needed to achieve the objectives of the CWA and an estimate of the date of such achievement.
(4) A description of the nature and extent of nonpoint source pollution and recommendations of programs needed to control each category of nonpoint sources, including an estimate of implementation costs.
(5) An assessment of the water quality of all publicly owned lakes, including the status and trends of such water quality as specified in section 314(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act.
(c) States may include a description of the nature and extent of ground-water pollution and recommendations of State plans or programs needed to maintain or improve ground-water quality.
(d) In the years in which it is prepared the biennial section 305(b) report satisfies the requirement for the annual water quality report under section 205(j). In years when the 305(b) report is not required, the State may satisfy the annual section 205(j) report requirement by certifying that the most recently submitted section 305(b) report is current or by supplying an update of the sections of the most recently submitted section 305(b) report which require updating.