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Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP)

Introduction

The Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) is a voluntary conservation program under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). AWEP provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to assist them in applying agricultural water enhancement activities that conserve ground and surface water and improve water quality on agricultural lands.

Under AWEP, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) enters into partnership agreements with eligible entities that want to promote water conservation and improve water quality on agricultural lands. Eligible producers may submit a program application after the Chief announces approved AWEP project areas.

Program Description

During each fiscal year, NRCS will make AWEP financial and technical assistance available to eligible owners and operators of agricultural lands who participate in approved AWEP project areas.

As authorized by Congress, AWEP 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

Eligible partners include:

  • Federal recognized Indian Tribes

  • States

  • Units of local government

  • Agricultural or silvicultural associations or other groups of such producers such as
        a.  An irrigation association
        b.  An agricultural land trust

  • Other nongovernmental organizations with experience working with agricultural producers.

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.


For more detail regarding eligibility and application requirements, please contact your local NRCS Field office.

Current AWEP Projects

Lower Yellowstone Proposal and Funding

Competing against proposals submitted from other entities nationwide, a proposal for funding through the AWEP program, totaling $998,600 was submitted by the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District Board of Control.  Monies allocated through this proposal will be used to fund on-farm irrigation improvements in the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District #1 in Montana, the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District #2 in North Dakota, and the Savage Irrigation District in Montana.

Financial assistance is available to convert flood irrigation systems to center pivot, install gated pipe irrigation systems, implement irrigation water management, and realign irrigation canals/laterals in conjunction with sprinkler systems. Eligible practices include the following:

431      Above Ground Multi-Outlet Pipeline (Gated Pipe)
320      Irrigation Canal or Lateral
430      Irrigation Water Conveyance (All pipelines except gated pipe)
442      Irrigation System Sprinkler
449      Irrigation Water Management
533      Pumping Plant
587      Structure for Water Control

Applications received from eligible participants by close of business on April 19, 2013, will be considered for fiscal year 2013 funding.

LYIPBOC Ranking Sheet

Buford Trenton Irrigation District

The Buford Trenton AWEP Project provides funding to convert gravity flood application method to sprinkler and tail water recovery in Williams County.

Applications received from eligible participants by close of business on March 15, 2013, will be considered for fiscal year 2013 funding.

Buford Trenton Ranking Sheet

Red River Basin Commission

The RRBC AWEP Project provides funding to engage in complementary and compatible land and water activities within the Red River Basin.

Applications received from eligible participants by close of business on March 15, 2013, will be considered for fiscal year 2013 funding.

RRBC - Cropland Ranking Sheet

RRBC - Socially Disadvantaged Ranking Sheet

RRBC - Beginning Farmer Ranking Sheet

Wells County Soil Conservation District

The Well County AWEP Project provides funding to adopt new treatments that will enhance water quality and water quantity.

Applications received from eligible participants by close of business on February 15, 2013, will be considered for fiscal year 2013 funding.

Wells County Ranking Sheet

Funding

For fiscal year 2010, the 2008 Farm Bill allocated $73 million for the AWEP program. This will be followed by a $74 million allocation for fiscal year 2011, and a $60 million allocation for fiscal year 2012.

Please note that the amount of financial assistance provided to approved projects will change every fiscal year depending upon appropriations and agency priorities. Agricultural producers in selected project areas may apply for available AWEP financial and technical assistance at their local United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Service Center. Once an application is selected, an eligible agricultural producer will enter into a contract with NRCS to receive technical assistance and to implement approved conservation practices.  

 

FY 2013 Funded AWEP Proposals

Buford Trenton Irrigation District: $335,000 in funding to convert gravity flood application method to sprinkler and tail water recovery in Williams County.

LYIPBOC: $445,378 in funding for on-farm irrigation improvements in the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District

Red River Basin Commission$2,100,000 in funding to engage in complementary and compatible land and water activities within the Red River Basin.

Wells County Soil Conservation District: $5,000 in funding to adopt new treatments that will enhance water quality and water quantity.

AWEP Fiscal Year 2010 Funding

Additional AWEP Materials

The following document requires Acrobat Reader.

News Release: NRCS Announces Water Conservation Project Assistance (February 3, 2011)
News Release: Funding Available for Ring Dikes in Red River Valley (April 24, 2011)

 

Program Contact

Jennifer Heglund
Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
Phone: 701-530-2095
Email: jennifer.heglund@nd.usda.gov

 

FY10 AWEP Information - prior to 8/6/10