Presentation Abstract

The 2015 Deschutes River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report by the Washington State Department of Ecology (ECY) recommended actions to improve water quality parameters in this watershed, including reduction of agricultural non-point source pollution. Farmers in the watershed were suspected of contributing to violations of state water quality standards for fecal coliform and nutrient loading, among other parameters, but basic information on crop production, livestock numbers and stocking rates, and the presence or absence of exclusion fencing, among other data, was unavailable. A local research effort was initiated in 2016 to address these issues. A local collaboration was established between the Thurston County Stormwater Utility (TCSU), WSU Extension Agriculture Program, and Thurston Conservation District (TCD), with the objectives of (1) developing a protocol for aggregating water quality and farm management data; (2) inventorying existing water quality data produced by ECY and Thurston County resource management divisions, and; (3) characterizing agricultural activity. This project was dependent upon a collaborative approach to data production, or co-production of science. Funding and research goals were identified by TCSU, a primary data user. WSU Extension convened project partners and developed the research protocol for data production and analysis. The TCD assisted with study methodology and utilized internal protocol for windshield surveys and data management of parcel-level farm information. Results presented in this session consist of partnership strategies (novel ways to collect, share and use data while protecting farm owner confidentiality), water quality summary tables for prioritizing improvement efforts, and summaries of agricultural activity at the basin level for targeted landowner outreach and evaluation of the intersection of water quality and farm activity. The proposed focus of this oral presentation is on inter-local relationships, data production, data sharing, and use, with a separate poster proposal in the same session presenting quantitative results.

Session Title

Strategic Recovery Part I: Managing Recovery at Different Scales

Keywords

Farming, Non-point source water pollution, Deschutes watershed

Conference Track

SSE4: Ecosystem Management, Policy, and Protection

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE4-346

Start Date

6-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 11:45 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 11:30 AM Apr 6th, 11:45 AM

A collaborative approach for evaluating agricultural contributions to nonpoint source pollution in the Deschutes watershed, south Puget Sound

The 2015 Deschutes River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report by the Washington State Department of Ecology (ECY) recommended actions to improve water quality parameters in this watershed, including reduction of agricultural non-point source pollution. Farmers in the watershed were suspected of contributing to violations of state water quality standards for fecal coliform and nutrient loading, among other parameters, but basic information on crop production, livestock numbers and stocking rates, and the presence or absence of exclusion fencing, among other data, was unavailable. A local research effort was initiated in 2016 to address these issues. A local collaboration was established between the Thurston County Stormwater Utility (TCSU), WSU Extension Agriculture Program, and Thurston Conservation District (TCD), with the objectives of (1) developing a protocol for aggregating water quality and farm management data; (2) inventorying existing water quality data produced by ECY and Thurston County resource management divisions, and; (3) characterizing agricultural activity. This project was dependent upon a collaborative approach to data production, or co-production of science. Funding and research goals were identified by TCSU, a primary data user. WSU Extension convened project partners and developed the research protocol for data production and analysis. The TCD assisted with study methodology and utilized internal protocol for windshield surveys and data management of parcel-level farm information. Results presented in this session consist of partnership strategies (novel ways to collect, share and use data while protecting farm owner confidentiality), water quality summary tables for prioritizing improvement efforts, and summaries of agricultural activity at the basin level for targeted landowner outreach and evaluation of the intersection of water quality and farm activity. The proposed focus of this oral presentation is on inter-local relationships, data production, data sharing, and use, with a separate poster proposal in the same session presenting quantitative results.