Water Quality

To help protect, improve and enhance the quality of Oregon waterways, DEQ conducts in-depth assessments of the state’s basins. These assessments take the form of local water quality status and action plans, which describe water quality conditions and include recommendations for actions that DEQ and others who are interested in these basins can take to improve water quality. 

DEQ completed its first three basin status/action plans as part of this project’s pilot year. DEQ plans to cover the state’s major basins in the next few years then re-visit each to mark progress and reassess how to deal with lingering water quality problems. 

To produce these basin documents, DEQ follows a “watershed approach” that looks at all factors influencing water quality in a certain region. This approach combines the expertise of DEQ’s 17 water quality sub-programs with a commitment to working with local stakeholders (communities, watershed councils and conservation districts) to find smart solutions to local water quality issues. It also includes working with applicable local, state and federal agencies on these issues.