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Water Quality & Quantity

Water Quality

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) works with partners to develop agricultural water quality management plans and regulations to prevent and  control water pollution from agricultural activities. These regulations (Area Rules), tailored for 38 water quality areas in Oregon, apply to agricultural lands regardless of size or use. They also apply to agricultural activities on forest land and within cities and urban growth boundaries.

Water quality goals can be reached by promoting voluntary cooperation among landowners and natural resource partners to address management concerns, and by ODA enforcing water quality regulations.

ODA is leading “Strategic Implementation” initiatives, where select areas around the state receive focused outreach and education to address priority water quality concerns. ODA and natural resource partners work together with agricultural landowners to concentrate technical and financial assistance as needed. They will enforce water quality regulations where problems persist.

Water Quantity 

Climate change and population growth is putting a high demand on the water resources in Central Oregon. Now more than ever, we need to be efficient with our water to ensure we have enough to meet our agricultural, recreational, and wildlife needs.

All seven irrigation districts in Central Oregon are working with the Deschutes SWCD,  Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Deschutes Basin Board of Control, Farmers Conservation Alliance (FCA), Deschutes River Conservancy, and other stakeholders to develop Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessments and implementation strategies that will improve the irrigation districts water conveyance systems,  on farm delivery and management, and improve flows in the Deschutes and Crooked River.

In addition to providing technical and financial assistance to landowners for irrigation improvements, the Deschutes SWCD also offers educational forums and workshops to further educate irrigators on the latest energy saving technologies and management strategies to improve their irrigation system. 

Learn more about Oregon Watershed Plans here: