(509) 422-2750 x108
Funding available for irrigation efficiency improvements
Washington Water Project of Trout Unlimited was awarded a Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative grant for three years of irrigation efficiency funding in the Methow Basin, and is currently in year three with approximately $326,000 remaining. This funding source is administered on the landowner’s behalf by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and WWP-TU, as part of the Environmental Quality Incentive Program section of the Federal Farm Bill of 2008.
The CCPI program strives to improve irrigation efficiency and enhance instream flows by working with multiple farmers and ranchers who irrigate agricultural crops from the Methow River or its tributaries. In the Methow, CCPI funds have been used for irrigation efficiency improvements, mainly for landowners upgrading their hand line systems to pivots.
Currently, WWP-TU and the NRCS are accepting applications for CCPI funding. To apply, landowners need to go to the Okanogan NRCS office and complete an application, visit the Farm Service Agency office to establish and update their farm records, and receive a design from a pivot company that clearly depicts all necessary elements, including a cost estimate. In addition, if you lease the land then a landowner permission form must be signed. Applications must be submitted by October 31st, 2013.
Landowners with questions should contact either Luke Cerise, NRCS (509) 422-2750 x108 or Jeri Timm, WWP-TU (509) 881-7690.
Ranking criteria includes many elements ranging from priority tributaries to using soil moisture technology. Priority tributaries are identified as critical spawning and rearing habitats for Endangered Species Act listed fish that have known water quality and quantity issues. An example is Beaver Creek, which is on Washington’s 303(d) list for inadequate instream flows. The tributaries are ranked in the following order, Beaver Creek, Wolf Creek, Twisp River, and Chewuch River. Once the tributaries have been addressed, then projects will move down to the mainstem Methow River.