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There are over 1,300 active or completed watershed projects. Assistance may be provided in authorized watershed projects to install conservation practices and project measures (works of improvement) throughout the watershed project area. The planned works of improvement are described in watershed project plans and are normally scheduled to be installed over multiple years. All works of improvement, including floodwater retarding dams and reservoirs, are owned and operated by the sponsoring local organizations and participating individuals.

The Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) Program provides technical and financial assistance to States, local governments and Tribes (project sponsors) to plan and implement authorized watershed project plans for the purpose of:

  • Flood Prevention (Flood Damage Reduction)
  • Watershed Protection
  • Public Recreation
  • Public Fish and Wildlife
  • Agricultural Water Management
  • Municipal and Industrial Water Supply
  • Water Quality Management

The Watershed Rehabilitation Program provides technical and financial assistance to local organizations to cover a portion of the costs of rehabilitating dams originally constructed through one of the following four authorities—Public Law 83-566, Public Law 78-534, the pilot watershed program authorized under the Department of Agriculture Appropriation Act of 1954, or the Resource Conservation and Development Program authorized by the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981.

Under the Watershed Program NRCS carries out works of improvement for soil conservation and for other purposes including flood prevention; conservation, development, utilization and disposal of water; and conservation and proper utilization of land.

NRCS implements the Watershed Program through:

A Locally Led Program

Project sponsors are provided assistance in installing planned land treatment measures when plans are approved. Surveys and investigations are made and detailed designs, specifications, and engineering cost estimates are prepared for construction of structural measures. Areas where sponsors need to obtain land rights, easements, and rights-of-way are delineated. Technical assistance is also furnished to landowners and operators to accelerate planning and application of needed conservation measures on their individual land units.   More Information

Program Contact Information

To learn more about NRCS’s Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program, please contact your state's Program Manager.