Voluntary Clean Water Guidance for Agriculture

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Learn more about 2022 drafts

Join us Dec. 14, 2022 for an informational webinar to learn about the Voluntary Clean Water Guidance for Agriculture and the Nonpoint Plan. We will also take questions.

Comments on the draft documents are due Dec. 23, 2022. Visit the comment page for more information. 

We are 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.

As we work on the guidance, we are issuing collections of chapters for public review. In 2022, we are releasing the first set of chapters for public comment. These chapters will be a part 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. Once all of the chapters are completed, agricultural producers will have a comprehensive set of BMPs for protecting water quality.

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

2022 draft chapters for review

We are accepting comment on the first set of chapters from Dec. 1 to Dec. 23, 2022. At the same time, we are also accepting comment on updates to the statewide Nonpoint Plan. The chapters and Nonpoint Plan are available online:

  • Voluntary Clean Water Guidance for Agriculture
    • Chapter 1 Cropping Methods: Tillage and Residue Management
    • Chapter 6 Sediment Control: Soil Stabilization & Sediment Capture (Structural)
    • Chapter 10 Livestock Management-Pasture & Rangeland Grazing
    • Chapter 12 Riparian Areas & Surface Water Protection 
  • Nonpoint Plan

If you previously submitted comments on the Cropping Methods chapter, you do not need to submit your comments again.

Make a comment online, using our comment form and selecting the document you are commenting on.

Informational webinar

Join us Dec. 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a presentation on the draft chapters, followed by questions and answers. Visit the event page.

Phase 1: To be completed by end of 2022

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

Phase 2: To be completed by 2025

  • Livestock Management-Animal Confinement, Manure Handling & Storage
  • 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

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.