Enhance water quality to meet local, state and federal standards by providing water quality baseline information, technical resources and Best Management Practice (BMP) implementation.
Prevent and control water pollution from agricultural activities and soil erosion, and to achieve applicable water quality standards.
The Harney Soil and Water Conservation District (HSWCD) Water Quality Program currently conducts a variety of on-the- ground activities to understand, improve and/or protect water quality conditions of Harney County’s streams and rivers. The majority of the Greater Harney Basin (GHB) Agricultural Water Quality Management Area (MA) lies within Harney county. Additionally there are small portions of the Malhuer MA and the Goose & Summer Lakes MA that fall with in the boundaries of Harney County. Within all MAs, the HSWCD strives to provide outreach, education and technical assistance to land owners for:
- Implementation of agricultural best management practices (BMPs) such as exclusion fences, riparian restoration, heavy use area protection, etc.
- Maintenance or improvement of desirable streamside vegetation
The HSWCDs current water quality Demonstration Area is located within the Silvies River watershed (see map). The primary focus in the Demonstration Area is to…. In the future, the HSWCD may also expand our capacity to fulfill the requested demonstration area technical assistance to agricultural landowners.
Natural Resource Concerns associated with Water Quality:
- Water bodies in Harney County that are classified as Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) 303(d) water quality limited or those that frequently exceed water quality standards
- Lack of baseline water quality data
- Water conditions that adversely affect beneficial uses such as human recreation, fish populations, and drinking water
- Water temperature exceeds state standards in a number of stream reaches
- Sediment from human activities (roads, irrigation, under-sized culverts, off-road vehicles) has degraded aquatic habitat
- Bacteria source reduction, management and control
Water Quality Program Objectives:
- Advance riparian habitat protection, enhancement, and establishment based on site capability
- Develop and carry out strategies to improve DEQ 303(d) listed water bodies for temperature, bacteria, dissolved oxygen, habitat modification, and sediment.
- Develop and carry out strategies to address the Greater Harney Basin Agricultural Water Quality Management (AGWQM) Area Plan and Strategies
- Continue to gather, evaluate and utilize baseline riparian condition using the State and 16 Transition Models as well as Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) Assessment methodologies
- Develop and carry out water quality education activities for Harney SWCD
- Develop conservation and restoration projects for property owners and managers
- Establish new demonstration areas and sites
- Promote current and relevant BMPs
- Assist landowners with grants, permits and implementation logistics
- Assist the NRCS with implementing Farm Bill conservation programs
- Assist with requests for information or service