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News Release

Funding for Water Conservation Projects Available to Farmers in the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer Region

Ron Brooks, Resource Conservationist
(208) 378-5724

For more information:
Program questions: Ron Brooks, Resource Conservationist: 208.378-5724 
Technical questions: Brian Henneman, Acting State Conservation Engineer, 208.378.5727 

Conservation practices with Gwen Taylor

February 25, 2013 - Farmers in the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer region can apply for special Agricultural Water Enhancement Program funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to carry out water conserving practices.  The sign-up period runs through March 15, 2013.

“The Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer provides all or part of the water supply for more than two million acres of irrigated agriculture land in eastern Idaho,” said Jeff Burwell, Idaho NRCS State Conservationist.  "This project aims to get more water into the aquifer to help sustain it for the farms, industries and towns that depend on the water it provides."

The Idaho Water Resources Board (IWRB) received special funding through USDA's Agricultural Water Enhancement Program to help stabilize the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (ESPA).  "The project is a joint effort by the Idaho Water Resources Board and the NRCS," said Burwell.

IWRB identified specific ways farmers can support the project.  NRCS will provide funding and technical assistance to farmers to complete certain practices that meet IWRB's objectives.

NRCS is seeking applications for projects in the ESPA that convert ground water sources to surface water sources; construct surface irrigation water regulating reservoirs that help with surface water delivery; and, convert to dryland farming by end gun removal or dryland crop rotation.

Producers apply to and contract directly with NRCS.  Applications must be received by March 15, 2013.

For general information online, visit

For specific program information or to apply, contact one of these NRCS offices:

American Falls - Kirk Whitehead, District Conservationist, 208-226-2177, ext. 109
Arco - Steve Cote, District Conservationist, 208-527-8557, ext. 105
Blackfoot - Dean Smith, District Conservationist, 208-785-6505, ext. 124
Burley & Rupert - Elliot Traher, District Conservationist, 208-678-1225, ext. 108
Driggs - Lindsay Markegard, District Conservationist, 208-354-2680, ext. 1
Fort Hall - Nate Matlack, District Conservationist, 208-269-0652
Gooding - Steve Thompson, District Conservationist, 208-934-8481, ext. 114
Idaho Falls - Debra Nace, District Conservationist, 208-522-6250, ext. 108
Jerome & Shoshone - Patti Hurley, District Conservationist, 208-886-2258, ext. 112
Pocatello - BJ O'Doherty, District Conservationist, 208-237-4628, ext. 125
Rigby - Howard Johnson, District Conservationist, 208-745-6664, ext. 101
Rexburg & St. Anthony - Ken Beckmann, District Conservationist, 208-624-3341, ext. 102
Twin Falls - Steve Schuyler, District Conservationist, 208-733-5380, ext. 130



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