Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) 2010


Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP)


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.

2010 AWEP Program Information

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) established AWEP as a replacement to the Ground and Surface Water Conservation Program.

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.


2010 Partner Application


Eligible partner proposals must be postmarked or submitted to the NRCS no later than Friday, May 17, 2010, for consideration in a national evaluation process. Complete information is available in the Notice �equest for Proposals� below, along with other references to assist potential partners in the development of an AWEP proposal. There are no forms associated with submission of a proposal. This is not a grant opportunity.


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.


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.


For fiscal year 2010, the 2008 Farm Bill has 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.

More than $640,000 is available from NRCS through the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP). Applications for AWEP should be submitted to your local NRCS office by May 21, 2010.

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.  

Currently Funded 2010 Funded AWEP Proposals (2nd year of agreement)

Buford Trenton Irrigation District: $320,000 in funding to convert gravity flood application method to sprinkler and tail water recovery in Williams County.

Red River Basin Commission$2,615,352 in funding to engage in complementary and compatible land and water activities within the Red River Basin.

Wells County Soil Conservation District: $60,430 in funding to adopt new treatments that will enhance water quality and water quantity.

North Dakota Irrigation Association: $642,000 in funding to address water quality and quantity issues for a number of producers. Primarily the conversion of high to low pressure pivots and flood to pivot irrigation statewide.

Additional AWEP Materials

The following document requires Acrobat Reader.

Request for Proposal (RFP)  (PDF; 85 KB)


Program Contact

Jennifer Heglund
Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
Phone: 701-530-2095