Road RAM Technical Document


Prepared by 2NDNATURE and Northwest Hydraulic Consultants and Environmental Incentives for the California Tahoe Conservancy and Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.

Executive Summary excerpt

The Road Rapid Assessment Methodology (Road RAM)1 is a simple and repeatable field observation and data management tool that can assist Tahoe Basin natural resource managers in determining the relative condition of impervious road surfaces. The primary purpose of the Road RAM is to rapidly determine and track the relative potential impact to the immediate downslope water quality from roads should a runoff event occur at the time of observation. Road RAM observations are based on scientifically defensible research and pollutant geochemical concepts, but facilitate rapid evaluations of road condition over many miles of roads. Road RAM can be implemented by anyone with a small amount of training and the results are simply communicated to a wide array of audiences. Road RAM results will inform the user of the relative maintenance needs to control pollutants from roadways and protect downslope water quality. Results can be used to inform a large number of water quality management questions, including potential WQ project design alternatives and justify the award of Lake Clarity Credits.


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