Agricultural Water Enhancement Program—Farm Bill 2008 Archive
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 program contracts with producers to plan and implement conservation practices in project areas established through partnership agreements. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the authority for AWEP to the Chief of NRCS.
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. After the Chief has announced approved AWEP project areas, eligible producers may submit a program application.
As authorized by Congress, this is not a grant program to eligible partners. This is a program whereby approved, eligible partners will enter into multi-year agreements with NRCS to promote ground and surface water conservation, or improve water quality on eligible agricultural lands.
The intent of AWEP is for the Federal government to leverage investment in natural resources conservation along with services and non-Federal resources of other eligible partners. Individual producers are not eligible to submit a partnership proposal.
Eligible partners include:
- Federally recognized Indian Tribes
- units of local government
- agricultural or silvicultural associations or other groups of such producers such as
- an irrigation association
- an agricultural land trust
- or other nongovernmental organization with experience working with agricultural producers.
Owners and operators engaged in livestock or agricultural production may be eligible for the program. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pasture, private non-industrial forestland, and other farm or ranch lands.
Once a partner proposal is approved, producers must submit a program application to be considered for financial assistance through AWEP.
Producers must meet EQIP eligibility requirements.
AWEP Sign-up Information