DES MOINES, IA, Feb. 24, 2020 — USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering eligible farmers 75 percent financial assistance for source water protection conservation practices located in priority areas across Iowa. This is a 25 percent increase compared to standard financial assistance rates.
Source water refers to sources of water, such as rivers, streams, lakes or reservoirs, that provide water to public water drinking supplies. Maps showing Iowa priority areas and a list of eligible practices are available on the Iowa NRCS website at http://bit.ly/SourceWaterProtection.
Funding for conservation practices is available through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Interested farmers and landowners may apply at their local USDA Service Center.
The current Farm Bill requires NRCS to use at least 10 percent of its annual financial assistance funds to support source water quality protection. More than 50 conservation practices that protect surface water, groundwater, or both, are available for implementation. Examples include cover crops, wetlands, terraces and contour buffer strips.
Iowa NRCS collaborated with conservation partners and groups throughout the state to develop the conservation practice list and identify priority areas.
On a statewide basis, funding will be split 55 percent for groundwater source protection and 45 percent surface water source protection.
For more information, contact your local NRCS office or go to www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov.