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Watersheds

Watershed Programs - Georgia

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.


Conservation

Use of good land management practices contribute to watershed health. Implementing NRCS conservation methods on working lands and employing preservation techniques in watersheds help prevent erosion, restore infrastructure, improve water and air quality, increase water filtration, enhance wildlife habitat, and provide other natural resource benefits. Working together, NRCS, land managers, ag producers, and communities help to build resilience to drought, floods, while improving water supply.

How Watersheds Work
How Watersheds Work

Inside Look at Watersheds

Rain and snow fall into watersheds that are ecosystems themselves. A healthy watershed naturally filters and stores water, prevents flooding and impedes wildfires, and conserves habitat. 


Building Climate Resiliency

NRCS has assisted communities with conservation in watersheds since the 1930s when the agency was born amid the Dust Bowl. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners address natural resource concerns. NRCS also helps communities to build-in infrastructure practices that prevent future flooding, save lives and protect property. These efforts from the headwaters of the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, address each area's unique concerns and demands. Conservation practices include:

  • Restoring streambanks
  • Restoring watershed habitat
  • Restoring or decommissioning of dams
  • Installing flood control measures

Shed light on your local watershed. Use the interactive map below to find your local water source and discover where your water comes from and follow the path it takes from the source to the reservoir. When it rains, where does the water go, where does it flow? Every region has a local watershed conservation district/organization. Connect with your local soil and watershed conservation district and NRCS to learn more. 

 

Watersheds in U.S.

Watershed Interactive Map - Click on your area to discover your watershed.


ASSISTANCE

NRCS Watershed Programs provides technical and financial assistance to local government agencies, tribal organizations and other eligible sponsors, to help communities implement conservation practices that address watershed resource concerns. Each program, has a specific area-of-focus as defined below:

Ready to get started?

Contact your local service center to start your application.

Find Your Local Service Center

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.

How to Get Assistance

Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?

Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.

how to get started

To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. We’ll discuss your vision for your land.

NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.

We’ll walk you through the application process. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:

  • To fill out an AD 1026, which ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed. It also ensures that identified wetland areas are protected.
  • To meet other eligibility certifications.

Once complete, we’ll work with you on the application, or CPA 1200.

Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn in your application in time.

As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible. To do this, you’ll need to bring:

  • An official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID)
  • A property deed or lease agreement to show you have control of the property; and
  • A farm number.

If you don’t have a farm number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm number if you’re interested in financial assistance.

NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants. View Application Ranking Dates by State.

If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.

Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specified amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.