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News Release

NRCS and Groundwater Management Districts Partner through Agricultural Water Enhancement Program

Application Cutoff Date—March 21, 2014

Salina, Kansas, January 27, 2014—Eric B. Banks, State Conservationist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Kansas, announced that irrigators in three approved project areas have until March 21, 2014, to apply for the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) at their local NRCS office.

This program is available in southwest and southcentral Kansas in three designated priority areas to irrigators who are eligible to conserve water and improve water quality on agricultural working lands. Through AWEP, the USDA and conservation partners work together to efficiently use additional resources and services.

“The Agricultural Water Enhancement Program is another way that NRCS, with the assistance of our partners, work to protect and preserve our water resources in Kansas,” said Banks.

Project areas include the following groundwater management districts (GMDs):

  • Equus Beds GMD No. 2 was funded for a five-year period beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2010. NRCS and GMD No. 2 will address inefficient water use on irrigated land and aquifer overdraft  through installation of more efficient irrigation systems and irrigation water management. The eligible area includes the entire GMD No. 2.
  • Big Bend GMD No. 5 was funded for a five-year period beginning in FY2010. NRCS and GMD No. 5 will address inefficient water use with financial assistance to remove pivot end guns and convert those acres to non-irrigated. The project area is in the Rattlesnake Creek Subbasin.
  • Southwest Kansas GMD No. 3 was funded for a five-year period beginning in FY2011. NRCS and the GMD 3 will address water quantity resource concerns converting irrigated cropland to dryland cropland acres and reducing irrigation water use. The eligible areas are located in parts of Finney, Ford, Grant, Gray, Haskell, Kearny, Meade, Morton, Seward, Stanton, and Stevens Counties.

A map of the project areas can be found on the following link:
www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/ks/programs/financial/awep/

Producers in the approved project areas have until March 21, 2014, to apply for this program at their local NRCS office.

AWEP agreements provide assistance to producers following the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) regulations.  All participants must meet EQIP eligibility requirements.  In Kansas, socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers will receive a higher payment rate for conservation practices related to AWEP.

For more information about AWEP and natural resources conservation programs, please contact your local NRCS office or conservation district office.  The office is located at your local USDA Service Center (listed in the telephone book under United States Government or on the internet at offices.usda.gov).  More information is also available on the Kansas Web site at www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov.  Follow us on Twitter @NRCS_Kansas. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.