More than $61.2 million in financial aid for Agricultural Water Enhancement Program projects will lbe available nationwide for the coming year, according the Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Dave White.
Grants will help producers conserve surface and ground water and improve water quality on agricultural land.
"AWEP projects are implemented by NRCS entering into partnership agreements with eligible entities," said Eric B. Banks, NRCS State Conservationist for Kansas. "NRCS works with these partners to help landowners plan and implement conservation practices in project areas established through the agreements."
Of the $61.2 million, approximately $40.4 million will be made available to AWEP partners whose projects were approved during last fiscal year and approximately $20.7 million will be available for new project proposals.
Several national priority areas have been designated, according to Banks, including the Ogallala Aquifer, which underlies a major portion of western Kansas.
The following partnership entities are eligible to submit proposals for funding: federally recognized Indian Tribes, states, units of local government, agricultural associations, and other groups of producers--such as irrigation associations, agricultural land trusts, or other nongovernmental organizations--that have experience working with agricultural producers. When an AWEP project area has been approved and announced, individual producers may apply for program benefits through their local NRCS office.
"Water quality and quantity are two resource concerns present in Kansas. Treatment of these concerns is important for Kansans' health and for food and fiber production," said Banks. "I certainly encourage any interested entity to submit a proposal for water enhancement activities or projects that can be accomplished by working with individual producers."
Deadline for partner organizations to submit a proposal is 3:00 p.m., May 17, 2010.