USDA Announces the funding of a EQIP WaterSMART Initiative Priority Area within the Middle Republican NRD

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The 31 WaterSMART Initiative Priority Areas for FY2021 are in 10 different western states, including one in the Middle Republican NRD Nebraska.  The Middle Republican NRD was awarded $523,215.00 through this initiative.

An example priority area is the Quick Response area located within the MRNRD. The Quick Response area covers four counties located within the MRNRD, Frontier, Lincoln, Hayes, Red Willow and Hitchcock counties. The MRNRD used WaterSMART funds to deploy near real-time telemetry equipment on 1,000 irrigation flow meters within the quick response area of the district for improved on-farm water management and reporting of water use to the district. These meters will be used in conjunction with weather stations and soil moisture probes spread across the district to give producers real-time data for improved water use decisions. This project will greatly improve on-farm water conservation in the district and preserve and enhance groundwater for baseflow in the Republican River Valley in Nebraska. 

Producers interested in inquiring into applying for these EQIP funds must sign up in their local USDA NRCS service center by the March 12th application deadline.  Eligible farmers and ranchers found in a selected priority area will be automatically ranked in the EQIP WSI targeted fund pool when they apply for EQIP funding.