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WQGIT Governance Protocols, Membership, and Orientation Materials

The WQGIT Governance Protocols articulate the decision-making procedures and cross-sector communication processes observed by the WQGIT and its Workgroups. The WQGIT Governance Protocols are consistent with the governance decisions made by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership's Principals' Staff Committee

BMP Expert Panels and Review Protocol

The seven Chesapeake Bay watershed jurisdictions implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to achieve the goals set forth in the 2010 Bay TMDL. Through the Protocol for Development, Review, and Approval of Loading and Effectiveness Estimates for Nutrient and Sediment Controls (BMP Protocol), newer practices and technologies are considered and evaluated for inclusion in the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership modeling tools.

Phase III WIP Expectations

On January 18, EPA released its Interim Phase III WIP expectations document which is intended to support the development and implementation of the jurisdictions’ Phase III WIPs and to assist the jurisdictions with stakeholder engagement during WIP development. EPA intends to further modify the sections on accounting for growth, Conowingo Dam, and climate change to incorporate decisions made by the Principals’ Staff Committee at their Spring 2017 retreat.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Data Dashboard

The Watershed Data Dashboard is a visualization tool to consolidate and provide accessibility to Chesapeake Bay watershed monitoring, modeling, trends, projections and explanations for use in watershed management planning and implementation.

Access the WIP Data Dashboard here:

Chesapeake Bay TMDL 2017 Midpoint Assessment

The December 2010 Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL) calls for an assessment in 2017 to review our progress toward meeting the nutrient and sediment pollutant load reductions identified in the 2010 Bay TMDL, Phase I and Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) and two-year milestones.

For a comprehensive overview of the Midpoint Assessment, schedule, and supporting documents, please visit our Chesapeake Bay TMDL Midpoint Assessment web page:

For an overview of the priorities and project leads related to the Scenario Builder and Watershed Model plan for the Midpoint Assessment, please visit our page dedicated to that effort:

Multiple Benefits of Nutrient and Sediment BMPs

Jurisdictions and planners are encouraged to consider additional benefits of BMPs beyond nutrient and sediment load reductions in development and implementation of the Phase III WIPs. The following resources are available in this effort:

A co-benefits scoring report was developed to provide a scoring matrix for additional benefits from BMP implementation. The report and scoring matrix were used in the development of 12 Principles for Phase III WIPs fact sheets describe the co-benefits that are possible when BMPs are selected in a thoughtful manner with site-specific conditions in mind. Each includes contact information for each watershed jurisdiction for more information.

These resources are also available for download through CAST:

Additional resources for the Phase III WIPs are available on the Phase III WIP Tools web page.

Phase 6 Model and Midpoint Assessment

This project page is the repository for the Phase 6 model, its documentation, as well as files and links to Tableau pages. Please email Kyle Hinson ( with any questions you may have.


All documentation files will be uploaded to this FTP site to assist in partnership review of Phase 6:


A summary PDF of calibration results has been generated and is available for download (large file):

Other detailed calibration results for each calibrated parameter and river segment can be found in a separate FTP folder:

Further detailed calibrated output for the watesrhed can be found in csv files located at this FTP site:

Further comparisons between the Watershed Model and WRTDS can be found at the non-tidal dashboard. These visual representations show both the loads estimated from monitoring data (WRTDS) and loads estimated from the Draft Phase 6 Model:

Land use files can be found at this ftp site:

Watershed Model Inputs

Links to the sites for Watershed Model Inputs can be found at these web pages:

FAQ regarding Modeling Tools:

Graphical Interface for Phase 6 Model Inputs:

CAST Homepage:

Phase 6 Soil Phosphorus Figures:

Model Review Process

The process by which the partnership can most effectively submit comments and provide feedback to the development of the Phase 6 model will be outlined in a continuously updated document found below. The schedule of upcoming webinars is also provided below and in the attached document. Please contact Lewis Linker ( or Kyle Hinson ( with any questions.

Phase 6 Sediment Simulation Webinar: April 19, 2017, 1 PM - 3 PM (link) (recording)

Phase 6 Integrated Models and Decision Framework Overview Webinar: May 9, 2017, 1 PM - 3 PM (link) (recording)

Phase 6 Poultry Inputs Webinar: May 24, 2017, 1 PM - 3 PM (link) (recording)

Phase 6 Inputs Webinar: May 25, 2017, 1 PM - 3 PM (link) (recording)

Phase 6 Loads Webinar: June 1, 2017, 1 PM - 3 PM (link) (recording)

Phase 6 Physical Transport Webinar: June 20, 2017, 1 PM - 3 PM (link) (recording)

Phase 6 Scenario Builder Review

Scenario Builder is a data management tool that provides estimates of land use acres, nutrient inputs, cropland attributes, and best management practice (BMP) implementation data to the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership's Phase 6 Watershed Model. The documentation and initial application rates to crops that are provided in the link below will help inform a full partnership review of the tool's documentation, during which the Agricultural Modeling Subcommittee (AMS) hopes to receive comments that could result in improvements to the tool in the spring and summer of 2016.

June 23, 2016:
The Agriculture Workgroup requested two nutrient spread application procedures be tested in advance of its July 20-21 face-to-face meeting. Nutrient applications from inorganic fertilizer, manure and biosolids from both versions are now available for download at The two procedures are briefly described below.

  • The first procedure, known as Beta 3a, relies upon an estimate of fertilizer sales across the watershed, and distributes those sales to counties based upon dollars spent by a county, as reported by the Census of Agriculture, and inorganic crop nutrient need after manure and biosolids applications are made. Using this method, the total pounds of inorganic fertilizer applied across the watershed are equal (never above or below) the total pounds of fertilizer sales estimated across the watershed.
  • The second procedure, known as Beta 3b, applies inorganic fertilizer to fulfill crop nutrient need after manure and biosolids applications are made. Using this method, the total pounds of inorganic fertilizer applied across the watershed may exceed or be lower than the estimated fertilizer sales across the watershed. This procedure is similar in method to the current Phase 5.3.2 inorganic fertilizer application procedure.
  • States are encouraged to review the results of each procedure prior to the July 20 meeting. A detailed analysis of the two methods, including areas of disagreement between the two methods, will be provided at the meeting.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact Matt Johnston at or 410-267-5707 if you have any questions.

August 23, 2016:

At its July meeting, the Agriculture Workgroup approved the use of AAPFCO fertilizer sales data to inform applications of inorganic fertilizer by county during the calibration period (1984-2013) of the Phase 6 Watershed Model. The Workgroup approved distributing total pounds of inorganic fertilizer sold across the watershed to counties based solely upon inorganic crop application goals left over after applications of biosolids and manure. The files attached below ('Beta 3a1-XXX.xlsx') provide applications and legume fixation by land use and crop following these new recommendations. Please contact Matt Johnston at 410-267-5707 if you have any questions following review of this information.

*To download the Beta 3a1 Plant-Available Applications to Crops, please use the following link:

To view the new time series data for Beta 3a(1) (also known as Beta 3c) on Tableau, please use the following link:!/vizhome/ChesapeakeBayPhase6WatershedModelInputs/Introduction

Improvements for the April calibration include:
• Inorganic fertilizer was distributed to crops only after all BMPs were simulated that would impact the amount of manure available to crops and the amount of agricultural acres with remaining nutrient application needs.
• Manure mineralization rates, which impact the amount of manure nutrients available to crops, were updated to reflect typical nutrient management mineralization rates by decade.
• Manure recoverability, or the amount of manure generated in a barnyard that can be made available to crops, before and after the implementation of Animal Waste Management Systems was updated to reflect estimates provided in
• Acres of barnyards or feeding facilities were updated to reflect the Bay Program’s best estimates per animal type.
• Nutrient application goals for the minor crops, emmer, spelt and triticale, were based upon state-recommended applications on a per acre basis as very little yield data was available to vary the application goals by annual yield.

December 12, 2016:

The Beta 4 Input Data, including nutrients applied by land use and by crop type, are now available to download from the FTP site using the following link:

Please use the link below to access a draft version of Scenario Builder documentation and initial application rates to land uses crops for the January, 2016 initial calibration run.

Download the zip file titled: ""
To access the Scenario Builder draft documentation, download the file: 'SBV6Documentation_01212016.pdf'

Phase III WIP Stakeholder Assessment

In preparation for the development of Phase III WIPs in 2017-2018, the WQGIT has undertaken a stakeholder assessment to identify lessons learned from the Phase I and Phase II WIP processes that should be applied to the Phase III WIPs. The stakeholder assessment should recommend improvements to the WIP development, evaluation, implementation and oversight processes so that the Phase III WIPs create effective blueprints for implementation through 2025.