The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) new national bulletin on “Refining Source Water Protection Local Priorities for FY 2024” is now available. This is the time for the Source Water Collaborative (SWC) members and partners to work together with the NRCS State offices to update the high priority source water protection (SWP) areas. These HUC-12 watersheds and ground water protection areas can represent up to 20% of the total land area in every state. This bulletin is issued each year to continue to implement the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill that requires NRCS to dedicate at least 10 percent of its conservation program funds for source water protection.
SWC members are encouraged to contact and continue working with your NRCS State Conservationists office and State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) and/or the source water protection subgroup of the STAC (if there is one in your state) to provide input on revising the high priority areas for FY24. This allows NRCS to provide increased payment rates and assistance to incentivize landowners to implement practices in these areas that protect drinking water quality and quantity. The due date for this process to be completed is September 30, 2023.
To see the national map of FY23 high priority source water protection areas, visit the NRCS Source Water Protection website. For more information, read the NRCS bulletin here and contact your State NRCS Office.