The Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District has been awarded a $5,000,000 Agricultural Water Enhancement Program grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“The AWEP grant will support a five-year, $5 million project that will pay incentives to landowners for several water saving practices throughout ten townships in York County and two townships in southeastern Hamilton County as a first priority component of the grant.”
Upper Big Blue PR Director Scott Snell says first priority projects that can be funded include:
“Conversion of furrow irrigation to center pivot or sub-surface drip irrigation…Implementing real-time irrigation scheduling using soil moisture monitoring equipment and installation of water meters; and Conversion of irrigated acres to dryland or grassland. The secondary priority area includes lands in the Wellhead Protection Areas surrounding all communities in the Upper Big Blue NRD.”
Irrigators are being urged to contact their local NRCS office now to apply for participation. The sign-up deadline for fiscal year 2010 funding is August 6th.