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NRCS Announces National Water Quality Initiative Funding for Southern Utah

NWQI news-7-21-22SALT LAKE CITY, July 21, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for funding through the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) for projects in high priority watersheds in southern Utah to help agricultural producers improve water quality. Deadline to apply during this third sign up period is August 21, 2022.

“The NWQI allows us to address water quality problems at a watershed scale,” said NRCS State Conservationist Emily Fife. “We can target the conservation measures that will be effective at reducing pollution and will work for local farms and ranches.”

Through NWQI, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance in these watersheds using funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for implementing and planning conservation practices to address agricultural sources of water pollution, including nutrients, sediment, pesticides, and pathogens related to agricultural production. The NWQI supports the voluntary actions of farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to improve water quality. Through water quality focused efforts, eligible agricultural producers can invest in voluntary conservation practices to help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) includes provisions that address the unique circumstances and concerns of socially disadvantaged, beginning, limited resource, and veteran farmers and ranchers. The 2018 Farm Bill provides for voluntary participation, offers incentives, and focuses on equity in accessing USDA programs and services. Historically Underserved producers are encouraged to use the self-determination tool.

Interested agricultural producers should see their local USDA Service Center to ensure that farm records are verified for program eligibility. Applications for the third sign up period is due on August 21, 2022.