NOW AVAILABLE: Watershed Index Online (WSIO) and Statewide Recovery Potential Screening (RPS) Tool Series Updated for 2021 – New Climate and EJ Indicators

From the US EPA:

The EPA Healthy Watersheds Team is pleased to announce the completion of Version 2.2 of the Watershed Index Online (WSIO), a national library of watershed attributes used for comparing watershed characteristics anywhere in the conterminous United States. The newly updated WSIO incorporates 14 updated and 68 new HUC12 indicators, containing 431 HUC12 indicators in total.  The full library, including select improvements summarized in the tables below, can be accessed by visiting the WSIO website. Data are available for use and download in the following formats: Excel, file geodatabase, and web service.

New indicators processed as part of this release focus on climate change (e.g., changes to hydrology and sea level); environmental justice (e.g., population and demographics, exposure to hazardous pollutants); and water quality assessments, impairments, and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs).

Many of these WSIO indicators can be readily applied using the Recovery Potential Screening (RPS) Tool, a systematic method and tool for comparing watersheds based on characteristics relevant to successful restoration or protection. RPS Tools, downloadable from the RPS website, have been updated for the lower 48 States to incorporate indicator values from WSIO Version 2.2 and include a total of 264 watershed indicators at HUC12 scale (custom Tools may have more indicators and/or scales). The updated RPS Tools also contain a new indicator sub-category classification feature. Note: Look out for refreshed AK, HI and territory RPS Tools, as well as new WSIO indicator and RPS scenario factsheets to assist users in applying these data later this year.

We continue to work with States and many additional partners to help them apply WSIO indicators in useful ways such as prioritization under the 303(d) Program, nutrient management plans, and nonpoint program planning. Please reach out to the Healthy Watersheds Team at, or to the contacts listed below, with any questions.

Miranda Chien-Hale (EPA, Watershed Branch): oversees the WSIO and RPS Contractor support

 Emily Cira (EPA, Watershed Branch): supports RPS and data integration needs

 Steve Epting (EPA, Nonpoint Source Management Branch): oversees the Healthy Watersheds Protection programmatic integration

 Andy Somor (The Cadmus Group): as the RPS Tool expert, provides contractor support for state-specific and general projects as tasked by EPA

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