Agricultural Water Enhancement Program available in southern Kansas
Eric B. Banks, state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Kansas, announced that irrigators in the three project areas have until Feb. 15 to apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Water Enhancement Program at their local NRCS office. This program is available in southwest and south central Kansas in three designated priority areas to irrigators who are eligible to conserve water and improve water quality on agricultural working lands through AWEP. Through this program, the USDA and conservation partners work together to efficiently use additional resources and services.
"Through AWEP, NRCS is working hard with our Groundwater District Management partners to support efforts to protect and preserve our water resources in Kansas," said Banks.
Producers in the project areas have until Feb. 15 to apply for this program at their local NRCS office.
Project areas shown on a map at www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/awep include the following ground water management districts:
Equus Beds GMD No. 2 was funded for a five-year period beginning in fiscal year 2010. NRCS and GMD No. 2 will address inefficient water use on irrigated land and aquifer overdraft through installation of more efficient irrigation systems and irrigation water management. The eligible area includes the entire GMD No. 2.
Big Bend GMD No. 5 was funded for a five-year period beginning in fiscal year 2010. NRCS and GMD No. 5 will address inefficient water use with financial assistance to remove end guns and convert those acres to non-irrigated. The project area is in the Rattlesnake Creek Subbasin.
Southwest Kansas GMD No. 3 was funded for a five-year period beginning in fiscal year 2011. NRCS and the GMD 3 will address water quantity resource concerns converting irrigated cropland to dryland cropland acres and reducing irrigation water use. The eligible areas are located in parts of Finney, Ford, Grant, Gray, Haskell, Kearny, Meade, Morton, Seward, Stanton, and Stevens Counties.
AWEP agreements provide assistance to producers following the Environmental Quality Incentives Program regulations. All participants must meet EQIP eligibility requirements.
In Kansas, socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers will receive a higher payment rate for conservation practices related to AWEP.
In fiscal year 2012, the NRCS obligated over $3.8 million in the AWEP project areas.
For more information about AWEP and natural resources conservation programs, please contact your local NRCS office or conservation district office. The office is located at your local USDA Service Center (listed in the telephone book under United States Government or on the internet at offices.usda.gov). More information is also available on the Kansas website at www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov. Follow us on Twitter @NRCS_Kansas.