In 2011, the Environmental Management Commission adopted a series of Administrative Rules to create the nutrient sensitive water (NSW) management strategy for the water supply reservoir, Falls Lake. The NSW strategy's goal was to reduce the average annual load of nitrogen and phosphorus to Falls Lake from 2006 baseline levels. Mandatory nutrient controls were applied to address non-point source pollution in agriculture, urban stormwater, nutrient management, and riparian buffer protection. The Falls Lake management strategy built upon strategies implemented in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River Basins and the Jordan Lake watershed.

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Falls Reservoir Water Supply Agriculture Rule (15A NCAC 02B .0280)

The Falls Reservoir Water Supply Nutrient Strategy consists of a series of Rules to address nutrient pollution from point and nonpoint source sectors. The Strategy provides for a collective strategy for farmers to meet nitrogen and phosphorus loss reduction goals from a 2006 baseline. This strategy establishes collective nitrogen and phosphorus reduction goals in two stages for agricultural operations:

  • Stage 1: 20% nitrogen and 40% phosphorus by 2021
  • Stage 2: 40% nitrogen and 77% phosphorus by 2036

A Watershed Oversight Committee (WOC) was established to implement the Agriculture Rule and to assist farmers with complying. Collectively, the agriculture community in the Falls Lake watershed is meeting nitrogen loss reduction targets. Phosphorus loss risk tracking in the full watershed indicates a decreased risk of phosphorus loss from agricultural lands from baseline (2006). The agricultural community continues to install best management practices to improve water quality and reduce nutrient loading to North Carolina's waterways throughout the Falls Lake watershed. Documentation on agriculture's continued work to meet reduction targets is available in annual reports approved by the Falls Lake WOC.

More information about the overall Falls Reservoir Water Supply Nutrient Strategy can be found at DEQ's Nonpoint Source Planning Falls Lake Nutrient Strategy webpage.

Upcoming Meetings

Seat Member
Division of Soil and Water Conservation Allie Dinwiddie
Natural Resources Conservation Service (non-voting) Olivia Plant
NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Joe Hudyncia
NC Cooperative Extension Service Mart Bumgarner, Crop Agent Orange County
Division of Water Resources John Huisman
Environmental Interest (resident) Peter Raabe, American Rivers
Environmental Interest George Matthis, River Guardian Foundation
Environmental Interest (resident) Samantha Krop, Sound Rivers
General Farming Interest Anne Coan, NC Farm Bureau Federation
Pasture-based Farming Interest Kimberly Woods, Farmer and Livestock Agent Person County
Equine Livestock Interest Barbara Oslund, NC Horse Council
Cropland Farming Interest Talmage Layton, Farmer
Scientific Community Dr. Deanna Osmond, NC State University 

In North Carolina, a number of agencies are involved with agricultural nitrogen and phosphorus reduction planning including:

  • Local Soil & Water Conservation Districts,
  • NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS),
  • NCDA&CS Division of Soil and Water Conservation,
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service,
  • NC Cooperative Extension Service, and
  • NC Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Resources.

There are also several sources available for technical and financial assistance with agricultural nitrogen and phosphorus reduction planning and practice implementation. Those sources include:

  • NC Agriculture Cost Share Program,
  • Section 319 NPS Grant Program,
  • NC Land and Water Fund,
  • USDA programs such as Environmental Quality Incentives Program,
  • Forestry Incentives Program, and
  • Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.

Allie Dinwiddie 
Nonpoint Source Planning Coordinator 
(919)707-3795 (office) or (828)550-2104 (cell)