Friday, January 28, 2011
NW KS GMD 4 AWEP - March 4 Deadline
Eric B. Banks, State Conservationists for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Kansas, announced recently that irrigators in northwest and southcentral Kansas in designated priority areas are once again eligible to conserve water and improve water quality on agricultural working lands through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP). Through AWEP, the USDA will leverage additional resources and services from conservation partners. USDA NRCS administers the program and enters into agreements with conservation partners to help landowners plan and implement conservation practices in priority areas established through the agreements.
“Three Kansas groundwater management districts (GMDs) partnered with other local agencies and organizations to submit AWEP proposals that were approved,” said Banks. The GMDs began partnering with NRCS through AWEP in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. Producers in the project areas have until March 4, 2011, to apply for this program at their local NRCS office.
Project areas are shown on a map at http://www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/awep :
Northwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 4 (GMD No. 4) was funded for a three-year period receiving almost $2.7 million in FY 2010. Six designated agricultural areas are eligible to directly conserve groundwater. To address the aquifer overdraft concern, NRCS and the GMD No. 4 seek to convert irrigated to dryland cropland acres in portions of Cheyenne, Sherman, Sheridan, and Thomas Counties.
I can't stress enough, if you are in one of the GMD 4 HPAs and are interested in transitioning irrigated acres to conserve the groundwater, get with the GMD office of your local NRCS.