Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 106 provides funding for monitoring and assessing water qualities of the Tribal Lands. EPA Region 8, the Rocky Mountain Region, is home to 27 tribes, and most have a CWA Section 106-funded water pollution prevention program. While each tribe has its own priorities and goals, all have benefited through this program. EPA Region 8 Water Quality Success Stories showcases the water quality improvements, on-the-ground projects, and programs that have benefited water quality greatly in EPA Region 8 Indian Country.
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe began its Water Quality Program in the early 90's. In 2005, the UMUT's application to the Treatment in the same manner As a State (TAS) was approved in order to administer Water Quality Standards and Implementation Plans (CWA Section 303) and to authorize the Tribe to issue water quality certifications compliant with the CWA Section 401.
UMUT has also worked on projects under the CWA Section 319 to manage polluted runoffs also know as Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS).
In 2001, runoff from the burn areas on Mesa Verde dumped tons of ash and sediment in the Mancos River, covering fish spawning areas and smothering aquatic life. To make matters worse, the Mancos River literally dried up in the summer of 2002 as a result of water diversions for irrigation and a 300-year drought that gripped the area. Back From the Brink is an account of the fish recovery efforts by the UMUT in the Mancos River and was published in Colorado Outdoors magazine.