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AWEP 2010

Agricultural Water Enhancement Program

New Proposals were due by May 17, 2010

Overview

The Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) is a voluntary conservation initiative that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to implement agricultural water enhancement activities on agricultural land for the purposes of conserving surface and ground water and improving water quality. As part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), AWEP operates through contracts with producers to plan and implement conservation practices in project areas established through partnership agreements.

Under AWEP, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) enters into partnership agreements with eligible entities that want to promote ground and surface water conservation or improve water quality on agricultural lands.  The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the authority for AWEP to the NRCS Chief.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White announced the availability of $61.2 million in financial assistance funding for Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) projects. This funding will help producers conserve surface and ground water and improve water quality on agricultural land.

"By working with our partners, we will see more water conservation on working lands and more opportunities to improve water quality," said White.

AWEP projects are implemented by NRCS entering into partnership agreements with eligible entities. NRCS works with these partners to help landowners plan and implement conservation practices in project areas established through the agreements.

Of the $61.2 million, approximately $40.4 million will be made available to AWEP partners whose projects were approved during last fiscal year and approximately $20.7 million will be available for new project proposals.

New Proposal Information

The following partnership entities are eligible to submit proposals for funding: federally recognized Indian Tribes, States, units of local government, agricultural associations, and other groups of producers--such as irrigation associations, agricultural land trusts, or other nongovernmental organization--that have experience working with agricultural producers. When an AWEP project area has been approved and announced, individual producers may apply for program benefits through their local NRCS office.

Types of water enhancement activities intended with this request for proposal are:

  • Water quality or water conservation plan development;
  • Water conservation restoration or enhancement projects;
  • Water quality or quantity restoration or enhancement projects;
  • Irrigation system improvement and irrigation efficiency enhancements;
  • Activities designed to mitigate the effects of drought; and
  • Related activities determined to help achieve water quality or water conservation benefits on agricultural land.

Deadline for partner organizations to submit a proposal is 3 p.m. May 17, 2010. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) established AWEP. To view the full request for proposal, for additional AWEP information, or to apply visit: www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/AWEP/.

For additional information about NRCS and conservation programs that may be available for you, visit: www.nrcs.usda.gov, or visit the nearest USDA Service Center in your area. 2010 represents the 75th year of NRCS helping people help the land. Since its inception in 1935, the NRCS conservation delivery system has advanced a unique partnership with state and local governments and private landowners delivering conservation based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests.

Additional Information

Program Contact

Corey Farmer
(501) 301-3122

Last Modified: 02/25/2011