The EQIP National Water Quality Initiative will assist producers to address high-priority water resource concerns in watersheds identified as impaired by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This initiative will utilize a special EQIP funding allocation to accelerate efforts to improve water quality in three 12-digit watersheds with streams designated by the EPA for the Clean Water Act section 303(d) list of impaired waters.
This EQIP NWQI provides a separate funding pool, specific set of eligible core and supporting conservation practices and separate ranking criteria for eligible producers with land located in one of the priority watersheds.
Upper Sinking - Blue River Watershed: Goals for the Upper Sinking-Blue River Watershed include a reduction of nutrients, sediment, and pathogens to waterways. Aside from nonpoint source reduction, there is also a focus on increasing water quality awareness among residents about conservation practices related to agriculture, forestry, and urban issues like maintaining septic systems. The targeted EQIP funding will help decrease nutrient and sediment runoff from agriculture through practices like cover crops, nutrient management plans and pasture management.
2019 NWQI Readiness Projects
Blue-Sinking watershed Readiness Project: Washington County SWCD is the lead partner on this project and covers the following 12-digit watersheds: 05101040701; 051401040702; 051401040703; 051401040704; 05140104076; 051401040601; 051401040602; 051401040603; 051401040604; 051401040605; 0514041040606
NWQI Monitoring Projects
Eagle Creek Watershed located in Hendricks, Marion and Boone County and covering the School Branch subwatershed.
NRCS identified priority watersheds through the help of local partnerships and state water quality agencies. Partners sometimes offer financial assistance in addition to NRCS programs. NRCS will continue to coordinate with local and state agencies, conservation districts, nongovernmental organizations and others to implement this initiative. This strategic approach will leverage funds and provide streamlined assistance to help individual agricultural producers take needed actions to reduce the flow of sediment, nutrients and other runoff into impaired waterways.
Water quality conservation practices benefit agricultural producers by lowering input costs and enhancing the productivity of working lands. Conservation investments are good for all Americans because well managed farms limit pollution from runoff, produce food and fiber, sustain rural economies, and provide food security to the Nation. All across the country— farmers, ranchers and forest landowners are voluntarily taking action and putting conservation on the ground to improve water quality on millions of acres!
NRCS is proud to be involved in a nationwide effort with landowners and communities to improve and protect our water resources. The landowners and farmers participating in the initiative will receive conservation payments to work on the land in a sustainable way which provides cleaner water. In addition to the financial assistance, the land will remain productive into the future. Communities benefit by having clean waterways, safer drinking water and healthy habitat for fish and wildlife.
How to Apply
To get started, make an appointment at your local office. You will need to establish eligibility and farm records for your land. NRCS will help you complete an application while explaining which conservation practices are available in your watershed. Remember to check with your local NRCS office to see if you are located in a priority watershed.