Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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NE: Ogallala Platte River Recovery Project Awarded $2 Million

The Ogallala Platte River Recovery project has been awarded $2
million for fiscal year 2010 through the Agricultural Water
Enhancement Program (AWEP) of the Natural Resources Conservation
Service. This project will assist in planning efforts to reduce
consumptive uses of water in the Platte River Basin. The Nebraska
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the lead partner along
with the Central Platte, Tri-Basin, Twin Platte, South Platte, and
North Platte Natural Resources Districts (NRDs).

The purpose of this project is to reduce water consumption and
related depletions to surface water flows in these five NRDs,
helping to meet the requirements of the integrated management plans
recently adopted by the DNR and the NRDs. The AWEP funds will
provide direct payments to producers for a conversion of
agricultural land from irrigated farming to non-irrigated land uses
for a period of five years. Non-federal funds will then be offered
to extend the conversion through the purchase of permanent
easements. These non-federal funds are available through the Platte
Basin Habitat Enhancement Program (PBHEP), funded through DNR and
NRD contributions, and a grant from the Nebraska Environmental
Trust. Through PBHEP, the DNR and the NRDs will promote and enhance
the AWEP project.

AWEP is a voluntary conservation initiative that provides
assistance to agricultural producers for agricultural water
enhancement activities on agricultural land for the purposes of
conserving surface water and groundwater and improving water
quality. AWEP is part of the Environmental Quality Incentives
Program and operates through program contracts with producers to
plan and implement conservation practices in project areas
established through partnership agreements. Details regarding the
process for sign-up will be available soon.

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