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News Release

2014 Ogallala Aquifer Conservation Funding Available

Jan. 14, 2014

Contact:
Jim Pike, Cheyenne Field Office District Conservationist
(307) 772-2314, ext. 110

For Immediate Release

2014 Ogallala Aquifer Conservation Funding Available

Irrigated agriculture producers who are interested in conserving water in the Ogallala Aquifer have two opportunities for financial assistance through USDA. Interested producers should contact their local Field Office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for details.

Through the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP), NRCS provides support for projects that conserve and improve water quality, use irrigation water efficiently, mitigate the effects of drought and climate change and take other actions that benefit water resources. Through a partnership with the Laramie County Conservation District, NRCS is making approximately $800,000 available Laramie County farmers and ranchers to reduce water use by converting irrigated ground to dryland crops or pasture. Producers are also eligible to receive cost share on high level irrigation water management. Highest priority areas are next to municipal wells.

In addition, $407,000 is available to producers in the counties of Laramie, Goshen, Platte, and Niobrara under the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) Ogallala Aquifer Initiative (OAI). The goal of OAI, like AWEP, is to stabilize declines in the aquifer. 

Both opportunities are provided under the EQIP program, which operates through contracts with producers to plan and implement conservation practices. Applications are taken on a continual basis. Applications received by February 21, 2014 will be considered for this round of funding. Those received after the cutoff date will be held for the next funding opportunity.

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