A group of dissolved-bioavailable organochlorine (OC) pesticides and inorganic anions in water and total OC pesticides in sediments were measured in the Malheur Watershed, a semi-arid region in the western United States, over a 2-year period. OC pesticide levels were compared with those from a 1990 study of the lower section of the river, the most recent data available. After calculating the dissolved fraction from the 1990, study it seems that DDD and dieldrin levels have decreased in the water by 50-70%, while DDE and DDT have changed little. Although banned nearly 30 years ago, DDT is still persistent throughout the Malheur River basin/watershed because it was found in all water samples tested. All of the OC pesticides tested during the 2-year study are well below the criterion continuous concentration for aquatic community exposure as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). OC pesticides appear to be decreasing, however, at lower Ontario there remains a human health risk (EPA Human Health Risk Water Quality Criteria) for DDT, because this criteria includes daily consumption of water and fish from the river. Overall, although the upper forest watershed sites have lower OC pesticide concentrations, they represent an important contribution to the total DDT load to this watershed, a source not previously acknowledged. The large increase in DDT and sigmaDDT between the Ontario sites may indicate a possible historical point source of contamination or historical preferential deposition of contamination. Normalized sediment (sigmaDDT/organic carbon) strongly correlates with dissolved water sigmaDDT.