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Ogallala Aquifer Initiative

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Program Description

The Ogallala Aquifer lies beneath the Great Plains region of the United States, extending northward from western Texas and New Mexico to Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, and parts of Wyoming and South Dakota.  The Ogallala is the leading water bearing geologic formation of the High Plains Aquifer System.  The entire aquifer system underlies approximately 225,000 square miles of the Great Plains, encompassing nearly 112 million acres in eight states.  The aquifer has been the principal source of water for agricultural, municipal, and industrial development.  The Ogallala Aquifer Initiative is a multistate effort designed to reduce the quantity of water removed from the aquifer and to reduce contamination of the water in the aquifer.  The primary objectives of the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative are to reduce the quantity of water removed from the aquifer, increasing delivery efficiency, enhance water quality by mitigating water quality impacts from agricultural production practices, and promote recharge to the Ogallala Aquifer through playa wetland conservation.  These objectives will be accomplished through implementation of improved cropping systems, and conservation practices for improved irrigation water management, crop residue and tillage management, nutrient and pesticide management, brush management, proper grazing systems and playa wetland and associated watershed restorations.

Application Process

Applications will be accepted from any eligible applicant on a continuous basis.  In order for an application to be considered for funding during the current fiscal year the application must be submitted by the posted deadline.

Only applications with land in the Oklahoma Ogallala Aquifer Focal Area will be ranked.  Applications will be ranked according to the Ogallala Aquifer Ranking Criteria.

Map of the Oklahoma Ogallala Aquifer Focal Area (PDF; 279 KB)
Oklahoma Ogallala Aquifer Screening Tool (PDF; 67 KB)
Oklahoma Ogallala Aquifer Ranking Criteria (PDF; 31 KB)

Eligible Practices and Payments Available Through the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative

Oklahoma Ogallala Aquifer EQIP FY2016 Cost List (PDF; 108 KB)

Conservation Practice Name:
Conservation Cover
Conservation Crop Rotation
Residue and Tillage Management- No Till
Cover Crop
Water Well Decommissioning
Water Well Testing
Irrigation Pipeline
Irrigation System, Microirrigation
Irrigation System, Sprinkler
Irrigation Water Management
Forage and Biomass Planting
Prescribed Grazing
Range Planting
Structure for Water Control
Nutrient Management
Integrated Pest Management
Wetland Restoration
Wetland Enhancement



Joy Alspach
Resource Conservationist
Phone: 405-742-1208
Email: Joy Alspach

For additional information and assistance, contact your local NRCS Field Service Center.