9Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge Pamphlet Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge

Soil and Water Conservation

Requirements were REVISED effective January 1, 2019.

To see the changes which were made, Click here.

For the previous requirements, Click here.

In addition to the changes mentioned above, a new requirement 4e was added in the Soil and Water Conservation merit badge pamphlet issued in 2017
but was omitted from the 2018 edition of Boy Scout Requirements.
That change was included in the 2019 edition of Scouts BSA Requirements and is included below.

  1. Do the following:
    1. Tell what soil is. Tell how it is formed.
    2. Describe three kinds of soil. Tell how they are different.
    3. Name the three main plant nutrients in fertile soil. Tell how they can be put back when used up.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Define soil erosion.
    2. Tell why it is important. Tell how it affects you.
    3. Name three kinds of soil erosion. Describe each.
    4. Take pictures of or draw two kinds of soil erosion.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Tell what is meant by "conservation practices".
    2. Describe the effect of three kinds of erosion-control practices.
    3. Take pictures of or draw three kinds of erosion-control practices.
  4. Do the following:
    1. Explain what a watershed is.
    2. Outline the smallest watershed that you can find on a contour map.
    3. Then outline on your map,as far as possible the next larger watershed which also has the smallest in it.
    4. Explain what a river basin is. Tell why all people living in a river basin should be concerned about land and water use in it .
    5. Explain what an aquifer is and why it can be important to communities.
  5. Do the following:
    1. Make a drawing to show the hydrologic cycle.
    2. Show by demonstration at least two of the following actions of water in relation to the soil: percolation, capillary action, precipitation, evaporation, transpiration.
    3. Explain how removal of vegetation will affect the way water runs off a watershed.
    4. Tell how uses of forest, range, and farm land affect usable water supply.
    5. Explain how industrial use affects water supply.
  6. Do the following:
    1. Tell what is meant by "water pollution".
    2. Describe common sources of water pollution and explain the effects of each.
    3. Tell what is meant by "primary water treatment," "secondary waste treatment," and "biochemical oxygen demand."
    4. Make a drawing showing the principles of complete waste treatment.
  7. Do TWO of the following:
    1. Make a trip to two of the following places. Write a report of more than 500 words about the soil and water and energy conservation practices you saw.
      1. An agricultural experiment.
      2. A managed forest or a woodlot, range, or pasture.
      3. A wildlife refuge or a fish or game management area.
      4. A conservation-managed farm or ranch.
      5. A managed watershed.
      6. A waste-treatment plant.
      7. A public drinking water treatment plant.
      8. An industry water-use installation.
      9. A desalinization plant.
    2. Plant 100 trees, bushes and/or vines for a good purpose.
    3. Seed an area of at least 1/5 acre for some worthwhile conservation purpose, using suitable grasses or legumes alone or in a mixture.
    4. Study a soil survey report. Describe the things in it. On tracing paper over any of the soil maps, and outline an area with three or more different kinds of soil. List each kind of soil by full name and map symbol.
    5. Make a list of places in your neighborhood, camps, school ground, or park having erosion, sedimentation, or pollution problems. Describe how these could be corrected through individual or group action.
    6. Carry out any other soil and water conservation project approved by your merit badge counselor.

A number of changes to the text of the requirements for this merit badge were first published in the Soil and Water Conservation merit badge pamphlet (#33291A) issued in 2004. The revised requirements were also included in the version of the pamphlet issued in 2008 (#35952) and in the 2010 revision of the 2004 edition (#35952 - SKU 610016) and each printing of each of those editions. However, the revised text was not included the 2005 edition of Boy Scout Requirements, nor in any of the subsequent editions of that booklet, up to and including the 2020 edition of Scouts BSA Requirements which all included the older wording of the requirements.

Since The the official wording is what appears on Scouting.org (and what formerly appeared in the Requirements books, which are no longer published), what is shown  above is the official text,

To see the differences between the official text and the text which has been used in the merit badge pamphlets, Click here. Note that the text on that page does not include requirement 4e, which was added later)

BSA Advancement ID#: 106
Scoutbook ID#: 111
Requirements last updated in: 2019
Pamphlet Publication Number: 35952
Pamphlet Stock (SKU) Number: 629416
Pamphlet Revision Date: 2017

Worksheets for use in working on these requirements: Format
Word Format PDF Format

Blanks in this worksheets table appear when we do not have a worksheet for the badge that includes these requirements.

Page updated on: May 08, 2022

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