Voluntary Clean Water Guidance for Agriculture

We've been working with an advisory group to research and write the Voluntary Clean Water Guidance for Agriculture. The guidance is a technical resource for agricultural producers that describes Ecology’s recommended best management practices (BMPs) to protect water quality. It is intended to support healthy farms while helping producers meet clean water standards. Throughout 2022, we are working on the first set of chapters and we will share the chapters for public comment later this year. These chapters will be apart of our updated 2022 statewide Nonpoint Plan.  After this set is completed, we will work on the next phase, which will be completed by 2025. We want to give agricultural producers a comprehensive set of BMPs for protecting water quality.

Please read our Voluntary Clean Water Guidance for Agriculture Focus Sheet to learn more.


Guidance draft chapters

You can now view the first draft chapter of the guidance:

Voluntary Clean Water Guidance for Agriculture 

All chapters

Chapters will be released and linked below when they are ready for review. 

Phase 1: To be completed by end of 2022

  • Cropping Methods: Tillage & Residue Management
  • Livestock Management-Pasture & Rangeland Grazing
  • Livestock Management-Animal Confinement, Manure Handling & Storage
  • Sediment Control: Soil Stabilization & Sediment Capture (Structural)
  • Riparian Areas & Surface Water Protection

Phase 2: To be completed by 2025

  • Cropping Methods: Crop System 
  • Nutrient Management
  • Pesticide Management
  • Sediment Control: Soil Stabilization & Sediment Capture (Vegetative)
  • Water Management: Irrigation Systems & Management
  • Water Management: Field Drainage & Drain Tile Management
  • Water Management-Stormwater Control & Diversion 
  • Suite of Recommended Practices

Please read our FAQ document if you have questions about the Guidance.

Advisory Group

We established the Voluntary Clean Water Guidance for Agriculture Advisory Group to advise us on the identification and implementation of practices that support healthy farms and help farmers to meet clean water standards. We reached out to a wide range of stakeholders to find qualified candidates to be a part of the advisory group. Advisory Group members assist in the development of the guidance, provide review and feedback, and contribute to the guidance’s ultimate success.

More information on the how we will approach developing the guidance can be found in the Process Design document.