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Rivers & Waterways

Healthy Communities Need Healthy Watersheds

Water is a critically important resource in Benton County. The Yakima River flows through the center of our county and provides multiple beneficial uses including irrigation, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreational use. 

Conservation of water resources is vital to preserving our quality of life. Benton Conservation District provides technical assistance, information and education to help our community maintain and care for our natural waterways.

Streamside Plantings & Buffers

Why They Matter:

Streamside (riparian) buffers are areas of transition between streams and upland areas consisting of native trees, shrubs, and grasses. Plant roots help stabilize stream banks to prevent erosion. There are many benefits to streamside buffers, such as:

  • Property protection from floods and soil erosion by holding soil in place with plant roots.

  • Improvement of water quality by filtering sediment, animal wastes and pollutants and preventing them from entering the water.

  • Provide valuable habitat for fish, animals and birds.

How We Can Help:

Benton Conservation District (BCD) provides technical assistance through free streamside assessments and can recommend actions to improve and restore streamside buffers. We also provide support with the installation and cost of streamside buffers.


Streamside Fencing & Off-Stream Watering Facilities

Constructing streamside fencing and off-channel watering that keeps livestock away from waterways can ensure healthy livestock and productive pastureland. These practices are also essential to maintaining healthy riparian areas on acreage with streams. 

For more information on streamside fencing and off-stream watering facilities and the financial opportunities available to implement these practices, please contact Benton Conservation District.

Our Watershed

A "watershed" is an area draining into a river, lake, or other water-body. The Department of Ecology has divided the state into 62 Water Resource Inventory Areas, or WRIAs, to delineate the state's major watersheds. Benton County is located within three of these WRIAs:

  • WRIA 31: Rock Glade Watershed

  • WRIA 37: Lower Yakima River Watershed

  • WRIA 40: Alkaki/Squilchuck Watershed

Watershed map with WRIAs 31, 37 and 40

Yakima River Projects

Benton Conservation District is proud to lead several projects in the Yakima River, ranging from salmon recovery to removal of water stargrass.

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