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DEQ's Water Quality Division

The Water Quality Program's mission is to protect and improve Oregon's water quality. Protecting Oregon's rivers, lakes, streams and groundwater quality keeps these waters safe for a multitude of beneficial uses such as drinking water, fish habitat, recreation and irrigation. This is accomplished by developing and implementing water quality standards and clean water plans, regulating sewage treatment systems and industrial dischargers, collecting and evaluating water quality data, providing grants and technical assistance to reduce nonpoint pollution sources, and providing loans to communities to build treatment facilities. The program includes four program-specific sections at DEQ Headquarters, water quality sections in three regions, and two monitoring sections at DEQ's laboratory.

Water Quality vision

The Water Quality 2035 Vision and Strategy describes the program vision and strategic priorities and documents the approach that led to its development. The Water Quality 2035 Vision and Strategy includes an overarching program vision as well as vision statements for six sub-program areas and interim goals to help keep the program on track toward achieving the 2035 vision. It also identifies key strategic priorities to achieve the interim and long-term goals. Appendix B is the detailed five-year work plans that identify short-term work needs for each sub-program to achieve progress towards the program’s goals.

Water Quality Program Plan 

The 2023 Water Quality Program Plan provides a broad overview of the Water Quality Program's core work and special projects planned for 2023 designed to help meet desired outcomes. It also celebrates successes and accomplishments for 2022. The plan is updated annually and involves multiple steps for efficient program design planning.

Current topics

  • The Oregon Water Data Portal

    Oregon Water Data PortalA collaborative effort by DEQ and other state agencies, universities and contractors for a water data portal in response to direction from the 2021 Oregon Legislature (HB 5006), and widespread public interest in having improved data and information resources to support water-related decision making.
  • NPDES Permitting Update: 2023 Water Quality NPDES Permitting Update: By the Numbers
DEQ strives to engage stakeholders and partners for input about how we can improve our programs and how we can work together to protect Oregon’s water quality. 

Water Quality Programs at DEQ