Since 1993, the Water Resources Agency has served as the Delaware co-coordinator of the Christina Basin Clean Water Partnership. The Chester County Water Resources Authority and Chester County Conservation District serve as the Pennsylvania co-coordinators in the Christina Basin.
The mission of the Christina Basin Clean Water Partnership is to restore the waters of the Brandywine, Red Clay, and White Clay Creeks, and Christina River in Delaware and Pennsylvania to fishable, swimmable, and potable status by 2015. To do this, we recommend that the partnership:
- Employ a full-time watershed-governance structure.
- Raise funds for restoration through innovative watershed financing.
- Develop a water-quality trading bank.
Since 1993, the two states, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the Delaware River Basin Commission, and the Christina Basin Clean Water Partnership have been working together to restore interstate streams in the Christina Basin to Clean Water Act standards. The Christina Basin is one of only two watersheds in the entire Delaware River Basin that shares the boundaries of more than one state. In 2006 the USEPA and the two states negotiated Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for impaired streams in the Christina Basin. In February 2008 at a legislative briefing in Kennett Square, Pa., the partnership announced the completion of a $1 million grant as part of the USEPA Targeted Watershed Initiative as the top-ranked application out of 170 watersheds in the U.S.
Chester County, Pa., has developed watershed plans for the Brandywine, Red Clay, and White Clay Creeks. Delaware has completed a Pollution Control Strategy for its portion of the basin. Stream water quality is improving in the Christina Basin, particularly with regard to dissolved oxygen, phosphorus, and sediment, while nitrogen is degrading and bacteria levels are too high. The economic value of the Christina Basin approaches $270 million annually.
The phases of the Christina Basin Clean Water Strategy have been completed as follows:
- Phase I DRBC/USEPA Mediation/Problem Assessment, 1994-1996
- Phase II GIS Watershed Mapping, 1997-1998
- Phase III Monitoring/Implementation, 1999-2000
- Phase IV TMDL Modeling/Implementation, 2001-2003
- Phase V TMDL Promulgation and Implementation, 2004-2005
- Phase VI Targeted Watershed Implementation, 2004-2015
Chester County, Pennsylvania | DNREC | DRBC | USGS | EPA | DEP | NRCS
US EPA Blog Post – Embarking into the Christina River Basin, September 27, 2012, written by Andrea Bennett