Skip Navigation

News Release

Watersheds Receive Funding to Improve Water Quality

Conor Ward


LINCOLN, Neb., Oct. 27, 2021 – Acting State Conservationist John Wilson announced today that the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the National Water Quality Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to improve water quality in three impaired watersheds located in eastern Nebraska (see map). Interested participants have until Nov. 19, 2021, to apply.

The selected watersheds are:

  • Bazile Creek – located in Antelope, Pierce, and Knox counties
  • Big Sandy – located in Thayer and Fillmore Counties
  • Turkey Creek – located in Saline County

Wilson said, “USDA is committed to working hand-in-hand with farmers, ranchers, and landowners to address water quality issues and provide the tools necessary to ensure clean, safe water for communities and wildlife. This latest investment is yet another example of how voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs are benefitting both producers and our natural resources.” 

The targeted watersheds were identified with help from state agencies, partners, and the USDA State Technical Committee. The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy is working with the local Natural Resources Districts in these watersheds through the Nonpoint Source Water Quality Grants-Section 319 Program.

Wilson said, “Including these watersheds in the National Water Quality Initiative will strengthen the overall effort to improve water quality in impaired streams in Nebraska. Through this initiative, eligible producers in these watersheds will invest in voluntary conservation practices to help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities.”

NRCS will provide funding and expertise to farmers and ranchers interested in installing conservation practices such as cover crops, filter strips, terraces, no-till, and other erosion control practices to improve water quality. NRCS staff will work with individual landowners to develop a conservation plan to apply practices that work best for their farming operation in each watershed

Individuals interested in applying for conservation funds may do so at any time, but applications need to be submitted by Nov. 19 to be considered for this year’s funding.

Additional information about the National Water Quality Initiative, and detailed maps of the sign-up areas, are available at