When people think of water pollution, the image of a large pipe discharging a toxic chemical from a factory probably comes to mind. This type is classified as point-source pollution and in the past accounted for many water pollution problems. Today it is regulated and is not as large of a problem as it had been. Now we are facing different problems that are not quite so easy to see. Increased amounts of stormwater runoff in developing and urbanized areas are discharged into rivers and streams, carrying many different types of pollutants into the water from many different sources spread over a large area. Scientists and engineers have learned to recognize that stormwater runoff can be viewed as two separate problems; water quality and water quantity. Each one can have a different effect on the receiving water body and can be addressed independently. Management of water quantity issues are best addressed during land development, whereas water quality issues can be addressed at any time. Solving the problems we face today often involves modifying existing regulations or creating new ones, in addition to educating the public on how they can help.
The purpose of this research is to summarize environmental regulations which pertain to stormwater policy in the Rogue River watershed. Watersheds are often comprised of several municipalities which implement or are affected by environmental policy in different ways. Management of our water resources is often conducted using the watershed as a management unit, so it is also important to view regulation and policy on the same level.