The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program helps units of federal, state, local and tribal of government (project sponsors) protect and restore watersheds.
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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
Local Watershed Solutions
Project sponsors access program assistance through the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations component of this program. Project sponsors can use land treatment solutions or structural solutions, which require construction. An approved watershed plan must be in place prior to initiation of any corrective land treatment or structural solutions.
Once the watershed plan is approved, the project sponsor helps landowners install planned land treatment measures if that is the appropriate solution. For structural solutions, project sponsors ensure surveys and investigations are completed. They also acquire detailed designs, specifications and engineering cost estimates for construction projects. If needed, project sponsors will outline areas where land rights, easements, and right-of-ways are needed.
Eligibility for Authorized Watershed Projects
Statutory and regulatory criteria include:
- Public sponsorship
- Watershed Projects up to 250,000 acres
- Benefits that are directly related to agriculture, including rural communities, must be at least 20 percent of the total benefits for the project.
Accessing the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program
Project sponsors can access help through this program in the following ways:
- Project sponsors can request funding to carry out an existing NRCS authorized plan. Assistance can include design and construction.
- Project sponsors can request the Chief of NRCS to authorize a plan developed with USDA Watershed Operations funding;
- Watershed plans that require $5 million or more in federal funding for construction require Congressional approval.
Once the watershed plan is authorized, project sponsors can access NRCS’s financial and technical help to implement their plan.
Watershed Operations Funding
Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations funding is available pending the following:
- Annual Congressional appropriations
- State and national priorities
- Acquisition of land and water rights
- Obtaining required permits
- Availability of local funding for specific project solutions
- Completion of structural, agronomic and vegetative designs for project measures
- An approved Operations and Maintenance agreement between NRCS and the project sponsor that ensures the project land treatment and/or structural solutions will be installed and maintained as specified in the agreement.
Ready to get started?
Contact your local service center to start your application.