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Watershed Initiatives - Impaired Impacted Streams Initiative

Active Impaired and Impacted Stream Surveys

The division has 175 active impaired and impacted stream surveys submitted by 61 soil and water conservation districts. Click here to access a summary of the streams with active surveys. 

2023 Impaired and Impacted Stream Survey

Click here to access the online version of the 2023 Impaired and Impacted Stream Survey.  We’re hoping this format will make it easier for districts to keep us posted on streams of concern in their area.

You can also download a word version of the survey to help you prepare responses prior to completing the online form:
MS Word DocumentImpaired and Impacted Stream/Watershed Survey


The Impaired and Impacted Stream Survey (IISS) initially began as the Agricultural Sediment Initiative in 1999.  The information taken from the survey was used for an EPA 319 grant that funded several projects across the state in watersheds where agriculture was listed as the predominant cause of impairment for streams included in the 1998 303(d) list of impaired streams.  In the 15 years since the initial assessments, things have changed considerably, but the basis remains the same: streams that do not meet their intended use based on monitoring data from the Division of Water Resources (DWR) and other sources are considered impaired.  For the 2007 Program Year, the Association adopted a resolution which earmarked a portion of Agricultural Cost Share Program funds toward those streams that were identified on the IISS.  This funding has continued.  To date, 60 districts have participated in the survey requesting millions of dollars in funding to complete projects in those designated watersheds. 

For the 2023 Impaired and Impacted Stream Survey (IISS), complete the online survey by June 1st, 2022.  Your submission will be automatically compiled into a database by the division.  This information will be provided, along with the Strategic Plan, to the Soil and Water Conservation Commission as a request for the IISS earmarked funds.  Remember, the surveys are valid for a 5-year period, so if you have filled one out previously for a selected watershed, you DO NOT have to resubmit for that watershed, simply reply that you are requesting funds for that watershed.  You may still fill out a new survey for other impaired and impacted watersheds in your district. For a list of HUC 12s in your district that have active surveys, please contact Division staff.

Impaired versus Impacted:  The streams that are considered impaired are readily recognized as those not meeting their intended use based on monitoring performed by DWR.  The “303(d) List”, as it is known (based on Section 303d of the Clean Water Act), is available at this web site.  Historical 303(d) lists can be found at this web site.  The impacted streams are a bit more difficult to determine and may depend on who you ask.  Some say that those streams rated as “Good-Fair” based on DWR monitoring data are considered impacted.  Others say they used to be listed within the Basinwide Plans for each river basin.  Both of these cases are right.  For our purposes, we want to receive input from the local districts.  Please feel free to fill out the survey for any stream and watershed you feel has been impacted by development, agriculture, both, or some other source of impairment.  Provide information as to why you believe the stream is impacted.  You may be called by Division staff for additional information regarding the stream you have designated as “impacted”.

To access your updated DWR Basinwide Water Quality Plan, click here.

Please feel free to email Ken Parks at with any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the survey.  Fill out one survey per stream and the online system will automatically send your information to DSWC.

By completing this survey, your district will be eligible to request funds for an impaired and impacted allocation of Agriculture Cost Share Program Funds.  Don’t forget to include your best management practice request in your FY2023 Strategic Plan.

Thank you for your interest and work in improving the water quality in our state.

NCDA&CS Division of Soil & Water Conservation, Vernon Cox, Director
Mailing Address: 1614 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1614
Physical Address: 216 West Jones Street, Raleigh North Carolina 27603
Phone: 919.707.3770

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