IDEM’s Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (CALM)

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM’s) Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (CALM) is a document that guides IDEM's Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 305(b) assessments and the Section 303(d) listing processes. The CALM describes IDEM’s methods for defining waterbody assessment units, which are streams or reaches of streams with similar features, such as hydrology, which makes them representative for assessment purposes. Lakes are each considered a single unit for the purposes of assessments.


  • Is based on federal CWA requirements and Indiana’s water quality standards;
  • Describes the type and amount of data needed to make water quality assessments for each designated use;
  • Describes the water quality criteria and other decision-making criteria used to determine, based on the available data, whether a waterbody is meeting its designated uses;
  • Provides the scientific and policy rationale for any new or revised assessment methodologies;
  • Provides guidelines regarding the placement of Indiana waters into the appropriate category of Indiana’s Consolidated List for each designated use; and,
  • Explains the decision-making criteria for adding and removing waters from Indiana’s 303(d) list of impaired waters.

Most of IDEM’s surface water quality data is collected using a rotating basin approach to monitoring Indiana waters, which divides the state into nine major water management basins. One basin is monitored each year, and data for that basin is analyzed the following year. IDEM also collected water quality data through other programs targeted to specific needs such total maximum daily load development, measuring the success of grant-funded restoration efforts and supporting the development of fish consumption advisories and watershed management plans.

IDEM’s monitoring programs provide most of the data used in water quality assessments. However, IDEM also solicits and reviews existing and readily available water quality data from external organizations for potential use in its 305(b) assessment and 303(d) listing processes. Once the water quality data for a basin has been compiled, IDEM makes its assessments in accordance with the processes documented in the CALM.

The CALM is updated every two years to incorporate changes in water quality standards, changes in U.S. EPA guidance, new scientific information, and other applicable criteria. In order to provide greater transparency and encourage public input to the Agency’s assessment and listing processes, IDEM always publishes the CALM and the draft 303(d) list together in one notice when the 303(d) list is published for its state-mandated 90-day public comment period.

The public comment period for the 2018 CALM is currently underway and will close on July 10. Interested parties will find all the information they need to review and provide comment on the draft 2018 303(d) list and CALM on IDEM’s web page for the 303(d) list. The 2018 CALM included in the notice can also be found here: