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National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) - Idaho

The National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) was designed to help individual agricultural producers take actions to reduce the runoff of sediment, nutrients, and pathogens into surface waters where water quality is a critical concern.

In FY19, NRCS expanded the scope of NWQI to include source water protection, including both surface and ground water public water systems, and is a special component of NWQI.



The NRCS State Conservationist in Idaho is accepting proposals for National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) watershed activities in FY 2022 until close of business Friday, June 18, 2021. The proposals can be for implementation or planning activities. Selected watersheds, or Source Water Protection Area’s (SWPA), will receive specific federal funds for conservation implementation or planning activities.

Action Required By: 5 pm on Friday, June 18, 2021

NWQI watershed activities are guided by multi-year implementation plans that document annual targets for conservation activity directed at solving the critical source of an impaired waterbody or SWPA. All NWQI watersheds or SWPA must have an assessment that meets NRCS standards located within Attachment C. Priority watersheds that do not fully meet the required level of planning as described in Attachment A or Attachment B for SWPA, may propose a planning phase in FY 2022.

The new implementation watershed proposals need to meet, or state how they will meet, the criteria outlined in Attachment A or Attachment B for SWPA proposals. The final assessment report requires completed maps identifying critical source areas with GIS data supporting the identified areas. Proposals where local NRCS and partners work together to set joint goals and outline their shared implementation or planning plan will have the highest consideration through the watershed selection process. This includes proposals that provide proof of producer willingness and readiness to adopt needed conservation activities, aligned with local (NRCS & Partners) capacity to provide technical assistance for implementation.

New Watershed planning or implementation

New SWPA planning or implementation

The proposal must address the selection criteria provided in Attachment A or Attachment B. Proposals may be submitted with one or multiple HUC12s. Proposals must be submitted to Maureen Pepper at by 5 pm on Friday, June 18, 2021. The Water Subcommittee of the Idaho State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) will review and select proposals, utilizing the STAC Watershed Selection Criteria and Attachment C. The Subcommittee will then make recommendations to the Idaho STAC and State Conservationist on which proposals to submit to the National review board for final selection.


Target Watersheds Map:

NWQI Idaho Watershed Map











National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) Contact for Idaho

Maureen Pepper
State Water Quality Specialist
Phone: (208) 378-5723