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Watersheds, Flooding and Emergency Assistance

Do you experience routine flooding during heavy rainfalls?

Did your city/county recently experience damage from a storm?

NRCS provides programs to assist sponsors to prevent/mitigate flooding and associated damage. 

Watersheds impact everyone; every community, farm, ranch, and forest. They provide a vital resource for all living things to survive and thrive. All watersheds are interconnected, creating a land-water system that conveys water to its final destination such as a river, lake, wetland, or estuary.

Tribes and municipalities, serving as sponsors, have access to important tools to protect watersheds and communities from the devastating effects of storms. NRCS can provide assistance to them upon receiving written requests for assistance. 

photo of EWPP

A look at NRCS Programs

Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP)

The EWP Program offers technical and financial assistance to help local communities relieve imminent threats to life and property caused by floods, fires, windstorms and other natural disasters that impair a watershed. EWP does not require a disaster declaration by federal or state government officials for program assistance to begin. The NRCS State Conservationist can declare a local watershed emergency and initiate EWP program assistance in cooperation with an eligible sponsor. NRCS will not provide funding for activities undertaken by a sponsor prior to the signing of a cooperative agreement between NRCS and the sponsor.

NRCS offers financial and technical assistance for various activities under the EWP Program, including: 

  • Remove debris from stream channels, road culverts and bridges;
  • reshape and protect eroded streambanks;
  • correct damaged or destroyed drainage facilities;
  • establish vegetative cover on critically eroding lands;
  • repair levees and structures;       
  • repair certain conservation practices, and
  • purchase of floodplain easements.


Watershed Protection and Flood Preventions Operations (WFPO)

The WFPO program provides technical and financial assistance to States, local governments and Tribal organizations to help plan and implement authorized watershed projects for the purpose of:

  • Flood Prevention
  • Watershed Protection
  • Public Recreation
  • Public Fish and Wildlife
  • Agricultural Water Management
  • Municipal and Industrial Water Supply
  • Water Quality Management


Dam Rehabilitation

Dam Rehabilitation focuses on assessing aging dams, designing repairs, and then implementing the repairs. Working with partner agencies, we assess the condition of existing structures and provide technical and financial assistance to make improvements. 

External Links:

Mike Steward

State Conservation Engineer