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NRCS National Water Quality Initiative for the Oso Flaco Watershed

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The National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) is a partnership between NRCS and other federal, state and local partners focused on water-quality improvement in targeted agricultural watersheds. This partnership-based initiative pools public and private resources to improve water quality and strengthens agricultural productivity. With targeted on-farm investments and watershed assessment resources, NWQI focuses resources on small watersheds that can deliver the greatest benefits for local, regional and national water quality.

Through the NWQI initiative, NRCS California identified the Oso Flaco Creek watershed as a high priority for investments in water quality and awarded the Cahuma and Coastal San Luis RCDs funding to conduct an initial Needs Assessment with growers in the watershed.

The Needs Assessment was completed in September 2022 and determined that growers in the Oso Flaco Watershed were primarily concerned with adapting their agricultural operations to meet the RWQCB’s Ag Order 4.0 requirements for nitrate runoff. Coastal San Luis RCD and NRCS are now working with those growers to determine which NRCS conservation practices are appropriate for achieving those targets. If growers choose to move forward, NRCS provides targeted technical and financial assistance for growers to implement these conservation practices.

Partners: NRCS, Cachuma RCD, County of SLO, Regional Water Quality Control Board

Funders: NRCS

RCD Contact: Hallie Richard,