The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA, formerly CSREES) Competitive Grant Watershed Studies are evaluating the effects of watershed conservation practices on water quality, with a focus on understanding how the suite of conservation practices, the timing of these activities, and the spatial distribution of these practices throughout a watershed influence their effectiveness. These studies include two additional components that 1) evaluate social and economic factors influencing implementation and maintenance of practices and 2) conduct outreach education to transfer knowledge from this research to farmers, ranchers, community leaders, and other stakeholders.
Two grants have been awarded to complete a synthesis of the 13 watershed projects previously funded through the CEAP competitive grants program. The goal of this synthesis is to build a knowledge base that can be used to evaluate impacts of conservation practices and programs on water resources, improve the management of agricultural landscapes to achieve environmental goals, and inform policy decisions. This is a joint effort between NIFA and NRCS.