Water Quality Benchmarks

The following Benchmarks and Indicators were developed to monitor the Thurston Region’s efforts at protecting Puget Sound water quality. They will be included in the Regional Benchmarks for Thurston County report that will be issued in 2015.

Related Regional Goal:

Sustainable Thurston Priority Goal 4: Protect and improve water quality, including groundwater, rivers, streams, lakes, and the Puget Sound.

Target:  Protect small stream basins that are currently ranked as “Intact” or “Sensitive.”  Improve and restore as many as possible “Impacted” stream basins. (Note: this target is consistent with one of the Puget Sound Partnership targets)

Actions will also support Sustainable Thurston Priority Goal 2: Preserve environmentally sensitive lands, farmlands, forest lands, prairies, and rural lands and develop compact urban lands.

Target: Between 2010 and 2035, no more than 5 % of new housing will locate in the rural areas, and 95 % will be within cities, towns, unincorporated growth areas, and tribal reservations.

Supporting Target: No net loss of farmlands, forest lands, prairie habitats (in addition to environmentally sensitive critical areas that are currently protected) while providing for a range of densities within rural Thurston County.

Benchmarks & Indicators Used:

  1.  Current Conditions of Basins
    • Number of Basins in “Intact” or “Sensitive” Condition
  2.  Forest Lands
    • Acres of Timber Lands
  3. Impervious Surface
    • Acres of new right-of-way in residential subdivisions per home